Wood Rot Repair

If you own a commercial property in Concord or are just planning to invest in acquiring one, it’s important to know what the building needs. What damage does it have? What parts of it are faded, peeling, chipped, or cracked? Take the time to find out. 

If the commercial building has exposed wood, you may find some damage. Wood rot is a common problem you must address before starting the painting or staining process. 

If you live in a region with four seasons or a wet climate in the United States, there’s a big chance that your commercial building will suffer from wood rot. So, inspecting your commercial building periodically for wood rot is important. Whether you need repair or replacement of the damaged wood, the best way is to hire a professional contractor.

 

What are the signs of wood rot?

Detecting and recognizing the signs of rotting wood in a commercial building is crucial for maintaining its structural integrity, safety, and appearance. Here are key indicators that wood may be rotting:

  • Discoloration – Wood that is beginning to rot may show signs of discoloration, often turning darker than the surrounding wood. However, it can also appear lighter sometimes, especially if the wood is drying out after being wet.
  • Musty odor – A musty, moldy, or damp smell in areas with wood materials can indicate rot, even if it’s not immediately visible. This odor is often most noticeable in basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
  • Soft or spongy texture – Wood that has become soft or spongy to the touch is a classic sign of rot. This happens because the structural integrity of the wood is compromised due to the breakdown of its fibers.
  • Visible mold or fungus – The presence of mold or fungus on wood surfaces, especially in dark, damp, or poorly ventilated areas, is a strong indicator of rot. Mold can appear in various colors, including yellow, black, green, or white.
  • Cracking or splitting – Rotting wood may show cracks or splits along the grain. While some cracking is normal in wood due to drying and aging, excessive cracking or splitting, especially if accompanied by other signs of rot, is concerning.
  • Deformation – Wood affected by rot may warp or bend, manifesting in floors that sag or feel uneven, doors and windows that stick or don’t close properly, or visibly warped beams and supports.
  • Pest infestation – Certain pests, like termites and carpenter ants, are attracted to and can exacerbate wood rot. The presence of these pests, their droppings, or the damage they cause can also indicate rotting wood.
  • Water damage – Signs of water damage, such as staining, peeling paint or wallpaper, or swollen wood, often precede wood rot. Persistent moisture is a primary cause of wood rot, so any evidence of water damage should prompt a closer inspection for rot.

If you suspect rotting wood in a commercial building, address the issue promptly. A professional assessment can help determine how bad the damage is. They can then recommend the necessary repairs or replacements to maintain the building’s safety and value.

How does Custom Painting, Inc. deal with wood rot?

For smaller and more manageable areas of wood rot, Custom Painting, Inc. follows the steps below to repair wood rot.

  • Before proceeding to repair or replace wood rot, our crew usually addresses the underlying cause of rot, such as leaks, poor ventilation, or contact with the ground, to prevent future issues.
  • Then, our crew determines how far the rot has spread. This is important because if the rot is extensive, we might need to replace the entire piece of wood.
  • We use tools such as a chisel or screwdriver to remove all the rotted wood. We ensure to do it thoroughly, as leaving any behind could allow the rot to spread.
  • If the wood is not too extensively damaged, we usually apply a wood hardener, following the manufacturer’s instructions. It can help solidify the remaining fibers and prepare the surface for filler. 
  • Once the hardener has been set, we use a wood filler or an epoxy filler to fill in where the rotted wood was removed, usually overfilling the area slightly to account for shrinkage as the filler dries.
  • Once the filler is completely dry, we sand it to match the surrounding wood. We usually start with coarse sandpaper and finish this step with a finer grit for a smooth surface.
  • We apply a primer and then paint or stain as desired to protect the repaired area and make it match the rest of the wood. We always ensure that the primer and paint are appropriate for the wood and its surrounding environment (e.g., exterior grade for outdoor use).

Rotten weatherboards under repair

Should the affected wood be repaired or replaced?

If rotted wood covers only a small area, repair is a viable option. However, if rotted wood becomes severe and spreads to other areas, the strength and integrity of your commercial building’s structure will be compromised. In that case, you may replace the rotted wood with new wood. Hiring an experienced painter to do the job for you is better.

Repairing or replacing any wood rot also depends on the structural significance of an affected area. Beams, columns, and joists are integral to the building’s structural integrity. If rotted wood appears in any of these wood features, your concerns change from aesthetics to your safety and the safety of your employees and customers. Although some measures must be taken to repair slight damage, replacement is better when you see rotted wood in these areas.

However, repair is more appropriate if rotted wood is present in less structurally significant areas, such as outdoor deck railings or a corner of a windowsill.

Contact Custom Painting, Inc.!

Clients consider Custom Painting, Inc. one of the best painters in the Bay Area. We always ensure that your business looks fantastic for many years to come. Your business can benefit from our years of experience, licensed and insured crew, and commitment to quality to make your commercial property look brand new and extend its life. Do the wooden parts of your commercial building need repair or replacement? Call us at 925-686-0903 or complete this online form to request a free quote.