Wood is one of nature’s ideal building materials. It can be cut, shaped and molded into many forms, making it perfect for both structural and decorative elements of your house. Wood is readily available in many species and is the most economical building product — it’s even a renewable resource.
As much as the American building industry so commonly uses wood, it has one big weakness: Rot.
Experts estimate that around 20 billion board feet of lumber are destroyed by rot annually — that’s far more than all the wood destroyed by fire. Most rotten wood needs to be replaced rather than treated. Rot replacement accounts for nearly 10% of all wood products produced yearly in America.
While that’s a large amount of wood being destroyed by rot, most of this waste could’ve been reduced if people had prevented the conditions contributing to rot destructions. Part of prevention is knowing the causes and identifying the early indicators of wood rot. This makes treatment for wood rot easier and far less expensive.
Wood rot is a natural phenomenon. It’s nature’s way of recycling dead, organic material and turning it back into soil fertilizer to help new generations of plant life. The wood in your home’s frame and trim work is dead — it’s just been preserved from decay by a drying and/or artificial treatment process. If conditions are right, rot is bound to occur. Knowing how to identify rot is the first step to treating it and preventing serious damage.
The first thing to know about wood rot is that there are three different types. They manifest in different manners, and one is far more destructive than the other two. However, if left untreated, every type of wood rot will spread, and the decay process speeds up as time passes. Here’s how to identify the three types of wood rot:
It’s important to know that all forms of rot are different organic processes than mold or mildew. Mold and powdery mildew are surface conditions where colonies are propagating. They’re using the wood as a host and are only feeding on the outer layer, whereas true rot is the wood’s cellular decomposition. Left untreated, mildew and mold can quickly lead to rotting wood. Also, mold and mildew are easier to treat than cellular rot, but they all have the same causes.
All wood rot is a natural organic decay condition caused by fungal growth. Fungi are microscopic organic spores present everywhere in nature — you can’t escape them. They’re built into the environment to break down wood and other plant life that has died and needs to be recycled back into the ecosystem.
While you can’t do anything about the presence of fungi spores, you can certainly do something about fungi colonizing and taking hold — that’s what causes rot. For rot to start and advance, four conditions need to exist:
Once you have all four of these living conditions present in a wood environment, fungus naturally begins its lifecycle. This happens in four distinct stages:
The Kansas City area has a perfect climate for rot to thrive — we have the perfect storm of warm, humid summers and relatively mild winters. Furthermore, almost all our homes are wood frame construction. Our historic and heritage homes used wood everywhere, from their frames to the siding, doors, windows and other exterior trim.
These optimum conditions of extensive wood substrate, warmth, oxygen and moisture make Kansas City the ultimate breeding ground for fungi. Many homes aren’t properly designed or maintained to prevent natural decay, which is why we experience so much wood rot in the Kansas City region.
Preventing wood rot makes far more sense than replacing it. Unfortunately, we see many cases where rot could have been prevented if the home builder and homeowner had been more aware of potential rot conditions and taken steps to prevent rot from taking hold. Once rot sets in, there’s no alternative than to stop it, cut out the affected material and ensure it doesn’t reoccur.
Preventing wood rot is challenging because it’s impossible to remove fungi spores, and there’s not much you can do to control oxygen or climatic temperature. The only effective measure you have left is to control moisture around wood. You can do that in three ways:
Wood rot is prevalent around Kansas City. As one of the largest cities in the American Midwest, Kansas City has grown at a fast rate over the past century. Wood has been the main construction material and still is. Over the last 100 years, home builders used wood everywhere from their foundation up to their roofs. Many homes are standing in perfect condition because their builders knew how to properly prepare, install and make sure their wood assemblies could withstand water by drying, sealing and allowing air to flow.
Unfortunately, we regularly see cases where people didn’t use care, apply proper techniques or perform required maintenance. Then rot happens and the structure suffers, some to the extent of being unstable and unsightly. The only repair remedy is to fully inspect the extent of rot damage, remove it and replace the rotten members with new, properly prepared material.
Our professionals at Neighborhood Painting are experts in wood rot repair and wood rot replacement. We work in two teams of specialists who know how to treat wood rot and how to prevent the wood from rotting. Our first team deals with identifying the extent of rot and replacing it using advanced, modern sealing methods. Our second team is responsible for painting your repaired home. All specialists are Neighborhood Painting employees. We never sub-contract out our work to ensure you have quality control and continuity throughout the entire restoration and refinishing process.
Our Kansas City company has been in business since 2002. We’ve done some of the trickiest rotted wood replacement projects on some of the city’s finest historic homes. We handle the entire scope of works, from surveying your home and providing a firm estimate of the costs. We make sure you’re serviced by dedicated employees, not from independent sub-trades who revolve through the business.
We know the Kansas City conditions lead to many of our older homes becoming rot infected. We also know exactly what materials and restoration techniques work in our climatic zone — this ensures that work done on your home by Neighborhood Painting can be guaranteed to perform without failure.
“Before you paint, make sure it’ll last” is our rot repair and replacement philosophy. It’s part of our company core values. We use this approach in all the restoration services we offer — we guarantee we’ll remove your rot and carefully prepare new fabrications before applying a drop of paint. This includes all our entire service lines:
While we are recognized as one of the Kansas City Metro’s premier painting contractors, our services go beyond repairing rotten wood and painting your home. We also deal with all forms of water damage, drywall repair and stain fences and decks. If you have an exterior or interior remodeling project in mind in the Kansas City area, we can help. Remember, all workers at Neighborhood Painting are dedicated company employees.
Before you paint, make sure it will last. For reliable and professional wood rot specialists in Kansas City, choose Neighborhood Painting Inc. Contact us today for a free estimate on your wood rot repair project in Kansas City.