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Home Sweet Home Inspection Tip of the Week

Home Inspector with Home Sweet Home Inspection Services

Decayed trimDecayed trim

Oh What A Beautiful Morning

The past couple of weeks have been phenomenal. Gone are the hot humid days replaced by afternoon temperatures in the 70's. This past Wednesday morning was 56 degrees when I walked my daughter to the bus at 7 AM. I even had to wear a sweatshirt. Fall has arrived and it is beautiful.

With the arrival of fall and the cooler temperatures that accompany it, now is the time to get our homes ready for winter. There are steps that homeowners can take that are both cost effective and easy to do. For the next couple weeks I'll be touching on different areas of maintenance for our homes which will get them ready for winter.  

Why is caulking important?

If there are voids in siding joints, voids where siding butts into trim or voids where trim butts into trim, now is the time to caulk these areas. Why keep our caulking maintained? We need to stop water, air and insect penetration. Water is a mortal enemy of wood. Remember that water easily sucks up through the end grain of wood. That is why most of the decay that I will find is at butt joints. I think most homeowners are familiar with the decay I'm talking about.

Would I recommend caulking decayed areas? No. For me, replacement of decayed wood is the only way to go. I know that I will probably get some flack on this. Homeowners have had success removing the decay then applying a wood hardener, then applying an epoxy, shape and paint. This is acceptable if done right but for me it's a personal preference of replacing the wood.  

Is wood replacement a repair that most homeowners can do? That will be up to the individual homeowner. Obviously the decay in the pictures is of wood that should be replaced. But how does trim get to that point. Lack of maintenance.  Make sure to look at all the trim on the home. Take care of these areas before they turn into costly repairs and you will be better off for it.  And Why Not?  

Randy L. Prothero
eXp Realty - Hollister, MO
Missouri REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Excellent tip.  We do not get cold weather her, but we do get rainy season and decay is an issue here also.

Sep 28, 2008 01:35 PM
Richard Mielke
RE/MAX Results - Gettysburg, PA
REALTOR, Gettysburg Pennsylvania Real Estate

I occasionally see homes where the owner has filled in decayed wood voids with caulk and painted over it. What are they thinking?

Sep 28, 2008 01:42 PM
Thomas Tolbert
Better Homes and GardensĀ® Real Estate Legacy - Savannah, GA

Great tip!  Thanks Louis.

Sep 28, 2008 02:18 PM
Louis Agudo
Home Sweet Home Inspection Services - Roswell, GA
Roswell Home Inspector

Randy- Thanks for the comment. Hopefully , one day, I'll get to visit Hawaii.

Richard- It's not only a homeowner fix but also a fix done by many a handyman.

Thomas- Thanks for commenting.

Sep 29, 2008 12:08 PM