When moisture invades your home’s protective layer, damaging wood rot results. And it’s no secret that the year-round precipitation we have in the Kansas City area encourages wood rot on exteriors. Wood rot left unnoticed or unattended can multiply over time and eventually compromise your home’s structural integrity, leaving you with sizable repair bills and hassles.
Is there a siding product that can safeguard your home from the costly damage of wood rot? Read on and learn how to spot wood rot, what to do about it, and how to avoid it in the future.
The Costly Problem of Wood Rot Damage
When water seeps into your siding, there’s trouble just ahead. Wood, oxygen, warmth, and water are the four elements that create the conditions that allow wood rot to thrive. Fungi that are in the air cause wood to rot when these four conditions are present. And the rot will flourish the longer it is left unattended. So, keeping your exterior well-fortified with durable siding and trim that resist moisture intrusion is a key to keeping wood rot from invading your home.
Solve the Wood Rot Problem Once and For All
1. Install Hardie Fiber Cement Siding and Trim Products
Hands down, one of the best permanent solutions to wood rot is to replace your home siding with durable, weather-resistant Hardie siding and trim products. This quality siding material is made of cement, sand, and cellulose, and Engineered for Climate—so it stands up with ease to the moisture we experience in the Kansas City area.
2. Carefully Vet the Siding Contractor You Hire
There are two vital ingredients to the long-term success of your siding’s performance: choose a top siding material made by a reputable company, and hire an experienced team of professionals to install it. When you look for a siding contractor for fiber cement, find one who is trained by James Hardie. Why? Because you know they have been well schooled in how to install Hardie siding with precision so you get the best long-term results. Also, it will safeguard your 30-year warranty to have a James Hardie Preferred contractor (like us!) install it.
3. Keep Your Siding Well Maintained
As a homeowner, inspecting your siding every spring, fall, and after each major storm is vital to keeping your exterior in good shape. If you spot a problem during your home inspection, attend to it promptly so it doesn’t cascade into a bigger, more costly issue. Also, repaint your siding as needed to keep your home’s protective layer well sealed against moisture intrusion. For Hardie ColorPlus Technology (factory painted siding), you’ll need to repaint it by the 15-year mark. Other siding types may need new paint every 6-8 years to keep them well sealed against moisture.
4. Install a Good Gutter System and Keep It Clean
When downpours hit the area, the water needs to be channeled away from your home, and it takes a good gutter system to do that. Once you have a good gutter system, it’s vital to keep it clean so water can flow freely through it.
Clogs occur when debris and leaves pile up in your gutters. Once gutters are clogged, water spills over the side and saturates the soil around your home’s perimeter—putting your basement and foundation at risk of flooding. Gutters that don’t work properly can cause water to seep into your siding and fascia, creating damaging wood rot. Safeguard your home from gutter issues by having gutter guards installed that keep out debris and allow water to flow freely into them.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Exterior’s Caulking
Caulking helps keep water from penetrating your siding particularly at joints—like around your window trim, between siding planks, and around doors. Good caulking keeps wind-driven rain and snow from penetrating your home’s protective layer.
Every spring, fall, and after major storms, look carefully at your exterior’s caulk. Over time, it can deteriorate and cause your home to be vulnerable to moisture intrusion if you don’t replace it. James Hardie recommends caulks and sealants that remain “permanently flexible.” Simply remove old caulking and apply the new in the joint, allowing it to dry for the recommended time.
What to Do When You Spot Wood Rot
Repair Damaged Area Under Siding
Replace the affected damaged wood and make sure everything is sealed so you don’t experience wood rot again.
Install New Siding Material
Choose siding makeup that is resistant to weather and that will safeguard your home from wood rot. Keep in mind that stone veneer siding, Hardie fiber cement siding, and brick siding all offer weather resistance and keep wood rot at bay. Wood siding looks beautiful, but is susceptible to wood rot when it is not regularly repainted and well-sealed.
End the Wood Rot Problem by Upgrading Your Home with Beautiful New Siding
Your home should be covered in a weather-resistant siding that keeps moisture from intruding. At Safe Harbor, we are a James Hardie Preferred contractor so we follow their strict guidelines on the installation process to meet the warranty requirements and ensure you get the high performance it was engineered to deliver over its (up to 50 year!) lifetime.
See for yourself the difference new siding makes when a home needs to overcome a wood rot situation. Check out this featured project and get inspired to deal with any wood rot problems you may have at this time. Remember, the sooner you attend to the issue, the smaller the situation.