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Wood Rot

What You Need to Know

Advanced Building Inspections Explores a Common Problem


Are you thinking of buying a home? Or are you a seller that is looking to find problem areas before a home inspector does?

No matter what your current situation is, you may be in the position of needing to know the condition of your house. We always recommend a home inspection coducted by a certified professional , but if you are curious about potentials hazards in your home and are not quite ready to book your appointment with a quality home inpection company, there are some area that you will want to explore.


Wood Rot


What's the Cause?


Many homeowners are familiar with wood damage caused by rot. They see it in structural lumber, log homes, eaves, garage doors, exterior door trim, window casings and other wood used in construction. Current estimates show that replacement materials, needed to repair damage caused by rot alone, account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. annual wood production.

Blame for this destruction is sometimes incorrectly placed on termites or other wood-destroying insects. However, there are no mud tunnels or mines in the wood such as seen with termite and other wood-destroying insects, nor is there any sawdust, which would be evident in the case of carpenter ant damage.

The key to preventing rot is to control the wood's exposure to moisture and to employ an effective prevention and treatment program. Most wood decay fungi grow only on wood with a high moisture content, usually 20 percent or above. Green (unseasoned) lumber is a prime target for decay fungi.

Also, surface molds, "mildews," and stain fungi are often found growing on the surface of damp wood and can be confused with decay fungi. Although these organisms may discolor the wood, they do not break down wood fibers and thus do not weaken its structure. However, these organisms indicate that moisture is present and that decay will likely proceed if a wood-rotting fungus becomes established in the wood.


Wood Rot


What Kinds Are There?


There are two main classes of wood rot. In one type, the decayed area has a brown discoloration and a crumbly appearance. It usually breaks up into variously-sized cubes, giving rise to the name "brown cubical rot." Another type of rot results in a white or yellow discoloration, with the decayed wood being "stringy" or "spongy."

Also, surface molds, "mildews," and stain fungi are often found growing on the surface of damp wood and can be confused with decay fungi. Although these organisms may discolor the wood, they do not break down wood fibers and thus do not weaken its structure. However, these organisms indicate that moisture is present and that decay will likely proceed if a wood-rotting fungus becomes established in the wood.

What Can I do About Wood Rot?

First determine the source of moisture and remove it. If adequate ventilation and soil drainage are provided and all contacts of untreated wood with the soil or moist concrete or masonry are broken, decayed wood will dry out and further decay will be stopped. When making replacements, cut out at least one foot beyond the rotten area. Avoid placing new lumber in contact with old, decayed wood. Replacement lumber should be treated before installation. Remodel to provide more ventilation and better design rather than simply replacing decayed lumber.

Want more tips? Call Spencer Maxcy of Advanced Building Inspections. You can reach this qualifed inspector at (225) 268-8307. If Spencer can't solve your problem directly, he can refer you to the professional that can.

These are just a few of the Cities/Zipcodes in the state of Louisiana that Advanced Building Inspections serves: Zachary, Denham Springs, Port Allen, Brusly, Hammond, St. Gabriel, Clinton, St. Francisville, 70791, 70706, 70767, 70719, 70401, 70776, 70722, 70775. And these are just a few of the Parishes we serve: East Baton Rouge , Livingston , West Baton Rouge, Tangipahoa, Iberville, East Feliciana, and West Feliciana.

If you would like a home inspection or a commercial building inspection in Louisiana and did not find your location on this list give us a call at 225-268-8307 and we will do everything we can to take care of your commercial and/or home inspection needs. At Advanced Building Inspections we understand that affordable home inspections and reliable service are important to you and so we make ourselves available to meet your needs... even on the weekends.

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