What Does Wood Dry Rot & Termite Damage on Decks Look Like in Carpenteria, CA?
The last thing you want to discover is rotting wood and termite infested wood. While you can ignore peeling paint, you cannot ignore wood rot. Minor damage will always turn into major damage if left untreated. Dry rot damage happens when water penetrates the exterior of your home. This penetration comes through roofs, around doors, windows, gutters, trim work and downspouts. Subterranean termites will come into buildings where the earth has contact with wood. This is common in older stucco homes where the sheathing contacts the ground level. Foundation that is close to the existing grade can be replaced. If it can’t be replaced, a termite curb can be installed. When the leaks and grading issues have been taken care of, repairs can start.
What is Wood Dry Rot
Dry rot happens when spores of fungi grow on timber or other wood used in construction. Dry rot affects areas of wood that have a moisture content of 20% or more. When the fungus gets settled, it will feed on the wood and causes the wood to lose stiffness. This makes it brittle and fragile. Signs of dry rot include a quick appearance of fungi, wood that is shrunken or distorted, cracks in wood, loss in wood strength and a musty smell. Ignoring signs of dry rot can put the structural integrity of a building in jeopardy because it can totally disintegrate wood. Dry rot can also spread from one area to another if it can find sources of nutrition to promote growth. The source of the problem needs to be found as quickly as possible and taken care of. The wood will need to be dried and any affected wood needs to be removed to prevent it from spreading. The rest of the structure should be treated to make sure there isn’t a chance it will be affected in the future.
Wood Termite Damage
Termites will attack any items that have cellulose in them. Wood is typically 40-50% cellulose. It can be hard to see minor termite infestations. The signs you need to look for are a powdery substance called frass which is digested wood residue, termite feces, eggs and dead termites. You can take care of minor termite damage by using a wood hardener. The damaged area needs to be removed with a chisel and the gaps can then be filled with wood hardener. You need to make sure it’s completely dry and then it can be sanded down to match the rest of the wood. Damaged wood that has long, hollow grooves needs to be filled with wood filler instead of wood hardener. The steps are the same and air bubbles can be removed with putty knife. If you don’t want to deal with wood hardener or fillers, the wood can be replaced or restructured by installing a new piece next to the rotted wood. The only problem with this option is it might change the way the original work looks.