Are You Pleased With The Appearance Of The Dry Rot Repairs? Why Not?

Home Builder with Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 CSL#642819


Can’t we just cut the ends of the rotted wood

and replace that part?


I have learned a lot of things from reading termite reports and seeing the work that they do. I am not licensed to spray chemicals or issue reports as a termite inspector but I have done more than my share of dry rot repair in Sacramento, California. I realize the importance of minimum termite repair in Sacramentoidentifying, removing and repairing wood that is rotted and damaged by water and pests. Much of it is common sense, some I learned through experience.

Termite Inspections in California have come to be a requirement in any real estate transaction today. When satisfied we get that feeling that all is well with the home – free of pests and water related damages. That may in fact be the case, but what does the repair look like?

I’m not here to criticize the reasoning of wood repairs that are done to satisfy a termite report, I have used some of the same techniques in order to stay competitive. One of the most common practices is to just remove the damaged portion of the wood. You’ve seen it. For example, those 8 foot boards with the 2 foot repair at the bottom that doesn’t quite match the existing wood. Why is this done this way?

By removing just the rot damaged wood and leaving the remainder, there is a cost savings in both time and material. I have learned that this does satisfy the requirement in removing the damaged wood. However, the repairs will always look less than desirable. You can see these repairs even after the caulking and painting has been done.

wood rot repair minimum in SacramentoMany sellers will have the wood rot work completed prior to listing that way they can say that there is a clean termite report. Great, but what does it look like? Will the home look good at the time of listing? Buyers are often stuck with the ugly cost cutting choices of the repair contractor, having to look at these areas for years to come. There may be a better answer.

Why not require the repairs to include the entire board that is being repaired, or at least set some minimum lengths. The finished product will look much better and easier to sell if you are the seller. A buyer will forget the repair area because they won’t have to be visually reminded seeing it every time they pass by.

How can this be done? Just ask for it. Most contractors will be willing to spend some extra time and a little bit more in materials to do a quality job. A qualified contractor can make this repair look like new with only a small additional cost. Knowing that you are concerned with the appearance of the repair, and not just the satisfying of the termite report, can go a long way in getting a professional wood rot and water damage repair.






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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Tom - That's a great point. Appearances can count for a lot, and if the repair calls attention to itself, it raises a lot of questions, both about the damage itself and also the manner in which the owner has approached home maintenance in general.

May 25, 2013 01:18 AM #1
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Tom, I just don't get why people want to cut corners. Why not just do the job correctly?  Gheez, its a home and likely their biggest investment.  Quality is the only the way to go. 

May 25, 2013 01:21 AM #2
Mike Young, covering the USA - Las Vegas, NV
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

Hi Tom, I could agree with you more but like you we see allot of dry rot repairs. Luckily we don't do them we just inspect them and if they aren't done in a professional, workmanlike manner we have them do it again till it is done right. Not often and once you do that they will typically do better on the next job they do for us.

May 25, 2013 05:49 AM #3
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Tom - I see inserted pieces of wood all the time where something rotten had been apparently cut out.  But there is still rot remaining and it can migrate.

May 25, 2013 05:53 AM #4
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Tom: I agree, the repair will just stand out like a sore thumb. You would hope that sellers will have some pride, as well. But I've seen so many corners being cut when it comes to repairs. Just enough to pass the inspection.

May 25, 2013 08:44 AM #5
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

That is a great point, Tom, since a scabbed in repair might make potential buyers start wondering what else is wrong.

May 25, 2013 10:45 PM #6
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

True Dick, we can eliminate much of that worry by changing how we do our repairs.


Good workmanship is important Kathleen.


Not all work is inspected in the same way, corners can be cut and still pass Mike.


This happens all the time Jay, not all rot is on the exposed edges.


Usually it's the seller that can be the driving force for a change, many do not care Hella.


We need to do work that alleviates this concern Toni.

May 25, 2013 11:30 PM #7
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