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Identify the Cause and Signs of Wood Rot

The garage feels like a distinctly American component of the modern home. It’s a place you can park your car, store your extra stuff or do the laundry. Beyond that, you could even convert it into a shop or casual hang-out space. However you use it, the garage is also the unique part of your home. In short, it marks the transition between the outside world and the inner sanctity of your dwelling. For these reasons, it may be especially susceptible to garage rot – areas where wood surfaces and structures are rotting. 

SFW Construction is a licensed general contractor and wood rot specialist. We conduct home restoration projects for many homeowners throughout Oregon and Washington. Having provided a valued service for decades, we offer free consultations on garage rot. That is, providing detail towards repairing and renewing your garage to restore its pristine condition.

Causes of Garage Rot

There are many reasons why your garage is vulnerable to rotted wood and should be inspected regularly for garage rot. First, most garages don’t have a heating system. At the same time, cars may be wet when you park them inside the garage. Especially in the Pacific Northwest, where it rains every other day! In fact, these conditions add up to increase moisture on, around, and inside your garage. 

Second, another cause of garage rot is water damage or water leaks in your garage. Many garage doors open by protruding a few feet from the vertical plane of the garage surface, which adds additional exposure to rain. Granted, most of us don’t spend a lot of time in the garage. The garage may be separate from the house; the garage may even be the last place we think about when conducting regular home maintenance. 

How to Spot Garage Rot

The first step to addressing garage rot is knowing what to look for in terms of damage. The significant areas for rot to occur on garages are the door frame and panels. However, if the rot is terrible, it may also be present on interior portions of the garage, especially if there are leaks where moisture seeps in regularly. 

Typical signs of rotted wood on your garage include peeling or flaking paint, discolored or darkened wood, cracks in wood surfaces or structures, spongy or tender wood surfaces, and a smell like mildew. For instance, when inspecting your garage for wood rot, bring along a screwdriver or pocketknife that you can press into wood surfaces that either appears to have rot or are areas open to moisture. If you can easily insert the screwdriver into the wood, which usually has a slightly mushy texture, then the wood has dry rot.

Garage rot is a state of deterioration of the wood in your garage caused by an inundation of moisture, leading to the proliferation of a fungus that thrives on moist wood. Also known as dry rot, the fungus that causes garage rot is a pernicious wood invader that spreads through the profusion of fungus spores that you must remove. Remove the wood rot and restore your garage to a healthy condition. 

Expert Garage Rot Repair and Removal

Ultimately removing dry rot is tricky because unless you extract all the fungus spores, the dry rot is apt to return. In short, hiring a professional garage rot specialist to remove the wood rot around your garage may be to your advantage. 

For decades, SFW Construction has conducted expert repair and removal of rotted wood around a garage alongside a wide range of comprehensive home restoration services. Once we remove the rotted wood on your garage, we replace the wood rot with durable hardwoods or your choice of vinyl or aluminum garage construction materials. Next, we leave your garage fully renovated and in immaculate condition.

As part of our free garage rot consultations, if we don’t find wood rot around your garage – or if you choose to repair the dry rot around your garage yourself – we will gladly give you tips to pursue your DIY project. 

Preventing Garage Rot

Prevention is the best medicine, and you can prevent a good deal of wood rot around the garage by installing proper flashing over the trim board that sits above the garage door. The purpose of flashing is to reduce water exposure to the wooden surfaces of the garage, especially the garage door. 

You can also prevent garage rot by practicing the following proactive strategies:

  • Reduce water exposure on the door and sides of the garage
    • You can do this by cleaning and repairing gutters regularly to keep them from overflooding
  • Use garage door seals
    • This will prevent water from collecting in the garage and keep a dry environment
  • Clean the area around the garage door(s)
    • Stop a build-up of stagnant water that can inundate the garage
  • Use an oil-based waterproof paint
    • This is to protect the garage, especially the door(s), from being permeated with water
  • Apply a layer of waterproofing stain to the wood surfaces of your garage
    • This will insulate and make them as weather-resistant as possible
  • Refurbish and apply a layer of fresh paint to your garage
    • You can do this every few years

Consult a Wood Rot Specialist for Free!

Performing home maintenance on your garage is a necessary, if seldom thought about, part of keeping your entire home in good working order and preserving the value and pleasant aesthetic of your domicile. 

An SFW Construction wood rot specialist is standing by right now, ready to take your call and provide initial steps on your free consultation regarding wood rot around your garage. Call today for your free consultation!

(503) 885-0236