It happened a few times this year. While scraping the old paint of a window sill, one of our exterior painters would find that the wood under the peeling paint was very soft and spongy. It didn’t rain for weeks, yet the wood was very moist. The crew arrives to sand and start staining a deck. The weather has been dry for days. Stripping and pressure washing was done over a week ago, yet the ends of some of the boards feel very soft and spongy. Even though blame is sometimes placed on termites, carpenter ants or other insects, the obvious culprit is dry rot.
Our painters are instructed to notify the crew leader when rot is encountered. In turn the home owner will be notified of any needed repairs and presented with a written change order form for approval of any additional work.
Dry rot is a disease found in trees and caused by fungi that invade and infect them. It is a serious problem in architectural wood, houses included, as it can slowly and steadily destroy wood, cause costly replacement and sometimes structural problems. In newer homes replacing infected pieces of wood and trim is the correct procedure. If the problem is found in a deck, replacing a few boards is a practical solution and not very costly to the homeowner. At times when replacement is not practical and the problem is not very advanced, removing of all infected wood and filling with an epoxy filler is a convenient alternative.
Older Toronto houses face a different problem. Replacement of infected wood may not be an option. Preserving as much of the original architectural detail is more important and sometimes replacement trim is not available. In that case after all visible dry rot is removed, the affected wood can be stabilized with epoxy fillers. Epoxies are part resin and part hardener. Our painters are trained to apply them with a plastic spreader and spatula as necessary and work with them after curing to match the shape of the wood.
This process will not reverse or even arrest existing rot or prevent future problems but it will strengthen weakened wood structures and stabilize the substrate before painting.
Ecopainting is now offering minor carpentry work as part of our services and can deal with dry rot problems in house without having to sub-contract any of the work.
Call 416 733-7767 for more information or contact us for a quote