One of the challenges of owning a home is knowing how to spot the signs of aging. One of the biggest and most destructive signs of aging is known as wood rot. Wood rot comes from a fungus which thrives in areas of moisture. The fungus begins to eat the wood away which can cause a weakening of the overall structure. If you have wood rot, there are several things you can do to treat it and prevent it.
Drying Out the Wood
The first step in any wood rot treatment plan is to get rid of the moisture. Make sure the wood is completely dry as this will kill off any fungus which is there and keep new fungus from growing. Look to see if there is something in the area which is causing moisture (i.e. a leaky pipe) and repair it if you can. If you are unable to get rid of the fungus by drying out the wood, you may need to treat it with borate. Borate is a fungicide which works perfectly for treating fungus infected areas. Borate also helps to keep away any insects, such as termites, which can damage wood further. Remember to only use borate after the wood has been dried and there is no water present as borate is water soluble and will wash away.
Basic Wood Repair
Once the fungus has been killed, you can set about repairing the wood. If the rot is small and localized, it is easy to repair with a putty or epoxy. First, remove the rotted wood, leaving only healthy wood in the area. If you can, remove a small portion of the healthy wood in order to be sure that the fungus is completely gone. Once the wood is gone, you can use an epoxy filler to fill in the gap in the wood. Once placed, all you will need to is shape it, sand it down, and paint it to look like the original wall.
If the wood has serious rot damage, you may need to replace the entire piece of wood. Unless you are a skilled builder, you should not attempt this on your own. By taking out rotted window frames, wall studs, or floor boards, you may end up weakening the structure of your house. Also, you will need to replace the entire piece of wood, so make sure that whatever material you use is the exact dimensions of the original piece.