Potential Problems Lurking in Your Home
At J&B Construction, when we work with homeowners on their exterior remodeling projects, we not only address what is visible when it comes to windows, doors, roofing, siding, and decks, but we discuss what may be lurking behind these materials that can negatively impact the home, such as wood rot.
Rotting wood can easily avoid detection without explicitly looking for it. Enduring moisture produces an atmosphere conducive to fungi growth, which in turn causes the wood’s fibers to deteriorate, causing wood rot. When water interacts with a vulnerable wood surface for a long enough period of time, the wood begins to rot.
Regrettably, wood rot can spread, causing it to be particularly perilous to a home’s wooden building materials. On a long enough timeline, this rotting can affect significant areas of the home. If left untreated, rotting wood can begin to grow mold, which is not only bad for the structure, but also for occupants of the house and can lead to health problems.
As part of its evaluation process when developing the scope of work to be completed on a home’s exterior, J&B Construction staff will assess these areas of the home.
Water typically lingers on windowsills longer than on the rest of the window frame, so sills are generally the first to experience rot. Over time, as water accumulates on a windowsill, it can gradually wear away the paint, enabling water to seep into the wood, and ultimately leading to rot. J&B staff will examine the windowsills, the window frame, and trim to uncover any soft, deteriorated areas.
A significant amount of exterior doors contain wood, which becomes damaged over time from ordinary wear and tear, making it vulnerable to the elements. J&B will inspect all portions of the door and doorframe, including the threshold, doorjamb, and trim, making sure there are no soft, spongy areas. Special attention will be paid to the lower sections of the door, as it tends to be a prime area for fungi to materialize, especially if the home does not have a roof overhang to help protect the entrance from the elements.
J&B Construction personnel will make a close inspection of both the roof itself, as well as the area directly below the roofline, for wear and tear. On the roof, they look for damaged or missing shingles, raised nail heads, cracked seals around chimneys and vent pipes, and discoloration on the fascia below the roofline. They will also look for any sponginess in the plywood as they walk across it.
Even vinyl or aluminum sided homes likely have wooden framing, plywood, and trim. J&B will observe these wooden components, to the degree possible, and get a sense of their fitness. They will look specifically for warped siding, rotting boards, bubbling, or other damage to siding material. Any type of growth such as fungus, mold, or mildew on a home’s siding, especially at or near seams, may signify water is penetrating and being held inside the wall, where it is gradually released, causing undesirable growth. If the layer under a home’s siding has begun to rot or become soft, that is an indication the home’s siding is due for replacement.
Most decks contain a lot of wood and due to the fact that they are exposed to the sun, rain, ice, and snow, they will require a thorough inspection for rot. J&B staff will check wooden components that make up the deck and deck stairs from above and below, plus assess the health of the ledger board, the wood that attaches the deck to the house. This includes looking especially close at typical trouble spots, the structural members that are close to the ground and any parts of the deck that are near downspouts. After that, they will direct their attention to the ledger board. This is a prime spot for wood rot if it was not connected properly. The ledger board should be flashed in aluminum, and if that is not the case, water can get behind it, eventually causing rot. This is a crucial item to check, since rot here can spread to the house’s structure underneath the siding.