Unfortunately, wood rot happens for a lot of reasons. But the great news is that there are a lot of options to wood rot repair and prevention. Below, you’ll find insight as to why rot occurs and the different ways to care for your wooden deck.
When your deck is first installed, it will look fantastic. If you don’t take care of it or it isn’t installed properly, then you’ll see that wood rot begins to set in. This is dangerous for your decking because if left long enough, you may need to replace the whole structure.
The Dangers Of Wood Rot
The problem with wooden decking is that it takes careful maintenance to ensure that it stays in good condition. Rot can set in even if you’re careful, and it’s easily missed.
If you do miss it, you’ll find that it spreads. Once a plank of wood has been infected with rot, you’ll need to remove and replace it to stop the spread.
Wood rot is unsightly, and will ruin the look of your decking that you worked so hard to get. More importantly, the rot will make the decking dangerous.
Rot will make the wood softer and make it uneven, making it a serious tripping hazard. You want to be able to use your deck without worry, so keeping on top of wood rot is essential.
The Most Common Reasons You Need Wood Rot Repair
We know that you’ll need wood rot repair if you have problems, but what causes your deck to rot? Here are some common reasons why wood rot has set in, and what you can do about it.
This is the number one reason you’re seeing wood rot on your decking. For rot to set in, you have to have consistent moist conditions. If water can’t drain or dry away, then rot is going to set in.
2. Galvanic Rot
This type of rot will set in around the nails driven into your wood. This happens when galvanised nails and screws are driven into lumber. The chemicals in the metal react with the wood, causing oxidisation and causing rot to occur.
3. Insects And Pests
Another reason you might need wood rot repair is pests. For some pests, such as termites, your decking is both a safe home and a limitless food supply. If they get into your deck, they’re going to lead to it rotting.
4. Lack Of Airflow
Water and moisture is the enemy of your decking, but at some point, being outside, it’s going to get wet. If your deck doesn’t have good airflow, then you’re going to see water pool and start allowing rot to form.
5. Fungal Growth
Preventing Wood Rot
There are many ways you can prevent the need for wood rot repair. With the right care, you’ll ensure that no wood rot can properly set into your decking.
The maintenance starts when the decking is being installed. It’s important to inspect the crown of the wood as it’s put down. Some planks will bow and the center of the plank will raise up, or cup and sag. If all the boards aren’t set the same way, this is more likely to happen.
This allows for water to pool on your decking, as well as making it uneven and dangerous. Installing the decking correctly will prevent this from happening.
Then there’s the issue of pests. To stop them from getting into your decking, it’s best to follow advice from pest control experts. Make sure you clear up after any outdoor gatherings, to remove food and temptation from would be pests.
Also, pests love to get under decking as it’s safe and warm. Running chicken wire similar around the edges will stop them from being able to get in.
You also need to ensure that your wood can dry off after any rainfall in your area. Ensure that there’s airflow all around your decking. This is why chicken wire is great for pest control, as it still allows air through to your decking.
Avoid having your decking having direct contact with cement or masonry, and try and keep it from being directly in contact with the ground, too.
A great way of avoiding water damage is to create decking with a slight slope. This will allow water to run off the deck, so you won’t have to worry about standing water getting into the cracks and causing rot.
Finally, the most important thing you can do is regularly inspect your decking for any signs of rot. Take your time and look carefully to see what’s happening with your wood.
If you do keep an eye on your wood, you’ll be able to see any damage before it becomes a real problem, making it much easier to repair.
5. Painting Your Decking
One of the most popular ways of preventing wood rot is painting your decking. This works well as with the right paint, you’ll be creating a watertight seal that no moisture will be able to penetrate.
That means no water damage, and no fungi growing on the wood and breaking down the wood itself. It’ll also discourage pests as they won’t be able to get at the wood.
You have a lot of options when it comes to painting your deck.
Choosing a paint designed for decking will give your deck a boost of color, as well as creating a seal against water. If you want to make your deck really pop as well as protect it, this is the way to go.
There are also stains that provide the same water seal, but don’t cover the wood. In fact, they can actually improve the look of older boards.
Wood rot is a serious danger to your decking and if left long enough, it will damage it. If you’re careful and take steps to prevent it though, your deck will look amazing for years to come, and you will not need to repair your deck due to rot.
Protect it from pests, seal it from water, and you’ll see what a difference it can make.