You know you need to repair your house when...

By
Home Builder with Winslow Homes
https://activerain.com/droplet/4yj

Ok, here you are.  Wondering how to know if that funky looking piece of wood is really rotted.  How to know if the large crack in the trim is really an indication of a repair.  So how do you know?

One way is to get an expert to tell you.  There are way too many contractors out there that give FREE (yes, FREE!  As in no cost to you!) estimates to leave a potential repair unchecked.  If you're local in the Wake Forest/Raleigh area and have the nagging itch to know if something needs to be repaired, give me a call and I'll be glad to arrange a no obligation free estimate.  If you're not in our area, find a contractor that gives free estimates and give them a call.  The experts can tell you if it's needing repair or not.  Why not let them?

If you're a DIY, then a great way to know if you have rotted wood is to get a solid object and poke around on the siding and trim.  I use a larger sized nail set to check, like this red one sticking in a piece of fascia.  Uh, oh.  Wood rot. That's gonna need to be replaced!If you use a smaller nail set, it may penetrate the wood like an awl and not necessarily be so accurate in revealing areas of concern.

You might have noticed I said the nail set is sticking out of the fascia.  If you did, congratulate yourself!  You're a sharp reader!  And you might have thought, "I don't think that's good".  And in that case, you'd be right!  Another high five to you!

That's not normal.  No, not giving yourself a high five (well maybe), but the nail set stuck in the fascia.  And I didn't have to hammer the nail set in.  I just used my hand and poked around.  It stuck.  SHAZAAM!  I found the water damaged wood!  So easy, a cave...well, you get the picture.  And that phrase is probably copyrighted or something anyway.

 

That's not magic marker staining! The wood is soft, and that's a pretty good indication that it's taking on water. And that is bad.  BAD!  Bad because the back side of the board looks like this.  ANd that's not black paint on there.  (And that's a lot of words beginngin with "b".)

That's where water damage comes from boys and girls!  The water runs down the roof slope, and the unpainted surface of the cut on this fascia board soaks it up like having a sponge installed on your house!  No one really wants that, unless you live in the ocean.  To avoid this problem, we prime all our cuts on our material, even on HardiePlank (but not on PVC).

We almost always take it one step further and replace rotted trim wood with a PVC/vinly piece of trim.  It's a little more expensivie than wood, but if it's already rotted once...

So pretty!

Here's the same area of fascia with a new shiny (well, it was shiny before it got painted) PVC fascia! There's some squirrel chewing going on at the edges of the siding under that fascia, but we had to leave that for another day and another dollar...dang squirrels!  SHOO!

This is about as solid as a cotton ball...

 

Left unchecked, rotted wood can be inspiring!  For instance what can you make out of this beauty to the right?  Not much anymore!  It's a rotted 2x4 subfascia (the stuff behind fascia) that came from a small side porch roof.

And all because a previous contractor decided to simply put the last piece of flashing ON TOP of the existing and try to caulk it shut.  NOT GOING TO WORK!  And hopefully neither will that contractor again.  Don't hire him folks!

So get outside and poke around your house!  If you're not sure, give us a call and we can poke around areas we see as well.  I might even let you take my nail set for a test drive.

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dan Edward Phillips 12/26/2011 04:57 AM
  2. Dan Edward Phillips 01/08/2012 07:03 PM
Topic:
Home Improvement
Tags:
home improvements
water damage
raleigh
wake forest
handyman
wood rot
siding
home repairs
trim repair

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Rainmaker
233,461
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Was this your house?  Great before and after photos.

Jan 25, 2011 01:44 PM #1
Rainer
403,817
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Reuben:  It was a customer's house in Wake Forest.  They also had a LOT of chimney rot, but I didn't get many good photos on that.


Thanks for the compliments!  I've got some photos I'll put up soon about the leak over the side porch, and about a roof boot that we replaced on Monday.

Jan 26, 2011 01:02 AM #2
Rainer
40,155
Dale Ganfield
Leland, NC

Hi Jeremy, good post.  Curious as to the age of the home.  Looks like a lot of damage seen on homes built in the Triangle mid 90's and prior.

Jan 26, 2011 01:58 AM #3
Rainer
403,817
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Dale:  Thanks.

This home was built in 1994, so you're right on.  Many of the homes in this area were built around the same time, and almost all have the same damage:  water damaged hardboard siding & rotted wood trim.

I really believe wood is a great product (it doesn't expand and contract as much as PVC), but it's up to the homeowner to keep it painted.  And of course, it has to be painted on all sides to make it last.  Especially on the cuts!  And that's realisticly not going to happen, when price is the main concern on a house.

Jan 26, 2011 02:06 AM #4
Ambassador
699,519
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Great post Jeremy on what to look for here in the Triangle...  that darn Masonite siding is such a high maintenance material!   But your advise is good ~ everyone needs to get out there and look around the exterior of their home.

Jan 26, 2011 06:57 AM #5
Rainer
403,817
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Thanks Lee & Pamela!  It is everywhere and is the predominant siding in the Triangle, and unless it's painted and caulked regularly, will be water damaged!

Jan 26, 2011 07:29 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,763,811
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Excellent post Jeremy!

You hit on a lot of important points. I really liked the idea of getting a free estimate rather than doing nothing. At least the homeowner would know what is happening or the peace of mind that all is okay.

May I repost this to my blog and/or Facebook?

Thanks again Jeremy!

Jan 27, 2011 05:44 AM #7
Rainer
403,817
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Tom, glad you liked the blog entry.  

I always wonder why homeowners don't get free estimates to at least know areas of concern.  For free, it may not ID every area of concern, but as you say, it sure beats doing nothing!

You can certainly re-post and link to it, just please be sure to properly cite me as the source.

Jan 27, 2011 11:23 AM #8
Rainer
50,133
Rob Smith
Rob Smith Property Investigations - Jefferson City, MO

Great post Jeremy.  Wood rot is important to identify and repair.  The wood rot will only grow larger over time, regardless of the amount of pain, or putty, that is used to cover the surface after the rot has started.

Keep on Blogg'n!!

Jan 29, 2011 12:01 AM #9
Rainer
403,817
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Rob, thanks.  Once rot starts, it usually keeps going!

Jan 29, 2011 01:06 AM #10
Rainmaker
612,414
Mike Young
203kOnLine.com, covering the USA - Las Vegas, NV
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

We recently noted a dry rot repair inside a home where the new vinyl flooirng was installed over the rotted wood floor. The contractor indicated it was a scheduling problem. The new floor guy laid the floor befer the rot repair guy got there... it did get repaired correctly. I wonder how many times that has happened? Nice post. M

Aug 22, 2011 04:15 AM #11
Rainer
403,817
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Mike, sounds like you have a good contractor that just got some lines crossed.  Not sure I've ever heard of that happening in that particular type of situation, though.

I think people should change their wax ring no less than every 10 years (or maybe more frequently!) regardless of what the floor looks like.  They will fail sooner or later, so better to replace them sooner than to have to replace rotted subfloor.

Thanks for stopping by!

Aug 28, 2011 07:51 AM #12
Rainer
355,685
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

Great post, Jeremy! Seems like a lot of damage to a home is caused by the original work not being done correctly. Anyone in Wake Forest NC looking for home improvements or repairs will benefit from calling Jeremy Wrenn for a free evaluation!

Dec 26, 2011 05:08 AM #13
Rainmaker
559,767
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt - Stevens County

I am always amazed at the lack of using flashing!  Flashing is cheap and can stop so much damage.  I do like the new PVC type products - no rot to worry about! Thanks for sharing!

Dec 26, 2011 05:17 AM #14
Rainmaker
490,607
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jeremy, Saw this as a repost. Funny is I find this issue fairly often and usually with the infamous associated rot.

Dec 26, 2011 08:04 AM #15
Rainer
403,817
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Nina, that is usually the case.  There is so much to manage, and so much competition in home building that sometimes corners get cut.  However, in this case, I don't know a single builder that would have his painter there at the same time as the carpentry crew that is "boxing" the house.  Everyone would be in each other's way!

So I'm not sure that will be solved for new construction, unless the buyer is willing to pay for the extra or if the builder uses PVC or some other no rot material.

 

Jo, flashing on the exterior of this board would have prevented the rot, as would several other methods.  And yes, PVC is one of those methods!

 

Donald, it's certainly a very common problem in most areas.

Dec 26, 2011 10:59 AM #16
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