Water coming out of a gutter

Clogged gutters could lead to water accumulation on the roof and destructive wood rot.
Photo credit: blhphotography via Visual hunt / CC BY

Water is one of your home’s greatest enemies. As we move into the “June Gloom” season, which often brings higher levels of humidity, it’s important to recognize where water could be sneaking into your home. In past articles, we’ve discussed how water can collect on your roof and deck, leading to destructive (and expensive) wood rot. In this article, we’ll look at ways that water can seep through your siding causing widespread damage that you may not even notice until it’s too late. According to Home Tips for Women, “Wood that has more than 20% moisture will rot.” Even the smallest cracks can lead to a great amount of damage that will be costly to fix or replace.

Cracked and Peeling Paint

The first line of defense between your siding and moisture is your home’s exterior paint. Exterior paint is tough stuff, designed to repel water and keep wood safe. However, even the strongest paint breaks down over time. If you don’t regularly re-paint the exterior of your home, the paint may eventually crack or peel. Even the smallest cracks could invite water inside, where it will soak into the wood and become trapped. This is the perfect recipe for wood rot.

Gaps Between Siding

As the siding on your home expands in the heat and shrinks in the cold, gaps might open up. Again, even small gaps can let in water, and once that water becomes trapped, wood rot is sure to follow.

Clogged Gutters

Another major defender against moisture is your gutters. They are in charge of collecting rainwater from your roof and sending it down into the ground without touching your siding. However, if a gutter becomes clogged with debris or damaged, it may leak water down the side of your house. Over time, this regular deluge of water can find its way through cracks in paint or gaps in siding.

Poor Constructions of Sunrooms and Decks

One of the most common causes of exterior wood rot is poorly constructed decks and sunrooms. The point at which the deck or sunroom attaches to the house is at a high risk of collecting water, unless the builder makes sure to design ways to alleviate the water. In too many cases, this connection point causes a valley that holds water and eventually causes wood rot.

How to Prevent Wood Rot

The best way to prevent wood rot is a simple three-step process:

  • Re-paint your home exterior on a regular basis (the entire exterior, not just small touch-ups)
  • Keep your gutters clean and look for water stains on the sides of your house which may indicate gutter leaks
  • At least twice a year, take a close look at the exterior of your house, especially where a deck or sunroom attaches to the house. Look for puddles, wood that is moist, or wood that feels soft when you press on it or poke it with a screwdriver

If you suspect wood rot, call a wood repair team immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage the wood rot will create and the more expensive it will be to repair. If you wait too long, the situation could get dangerous if an exterior wall becomes too weak to support the weight of the house and the roof.

If you live in the San Diego area, contact Best-Rate Repair for a wood rot inspection today.

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