How to Delay Wood Rot

March 27, 2023 at 6:13 PM

Wood construction has always offered aesthetic and economical benefits to a property. With the right type of maintenance, you’ll get incredible longevity out of your structure, whether it is a deck, wood trim, or the entire property. However, in areas like the Lower Mainland of BC that receive a lot of rain, decks, balconies, doorways, fascia and window sills are prime targets for excess moisture to accumulate and cause the wood to rot.

If areas of the wood begin to look softened, split and/or discoloured, those are telltale signs of wet or dry rot formation. Moist and damp conditions on the wood allow the fungus to thrive and eat away at the cell walls, stealing its nutrients. Left unchecked, the wood structure weakens, and depending on the extent of the damage, can burn a major hole in your wallet.

To tackle the threat of wood rot head-on, and potentially thwart or delay its attack, it is important to maintain the protective coatings on the wood. A good wood stain or sealer can penetrate the surface and provide a barrier to external moisture. When kept clean with regular washing, this will minimize the conditions that allow mold, mildew and fungus to thrive and form rot. It creates a clear or translucent finish — ideal when you want to retain the natural aesthetic of bare wood.

Whereas stains or sealers will provide simple protection from wood rot, and can last 1-2 years before re-application, coatings can provide sturdier and longer-lasting protection from rot. They do not penetrate the wood but create a film that will act as a barrier between the wood and the elements, providing additional defense against weather and fire. A protective coating that is worn or beginning to flake off leaving bare wood vulnerable to the elements is a key indicator that they should be replenished to ensure that the wood will keep its integrity for years to come.

Whether you go with a simple sealant or a complex coating, the money you’ll save from early rot prevention and appropriate maintenance can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Having a reliable professional inspection company to seek out the warning signs is a smart investment when dealing with the wood substrates on your property.

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