Wood rot is one of the most prevalent home structural issues and often occurs around windows. The appearance of dry rot depends on the type of fungus that is present. Colors can include brown, white and yellow. Evidence wood rot has occurred include shrinking, warping, and discoloration.
Causes: The fungi that creates wood rot requires moisture in order to grow. This means that a window that’s been damaged by dry rot is being impacted by a structural deficiency that is permitting moisture into your house and trapping it in an unnatural place. Many times, wood rot around windows is a result of an inexperienced contractor making installation mistakes. For example, insufficient caulking around windows will allow water infiltration, which leads to rot. If window flashing is skipped or incorrectly installed, rain and moisture can enter your home, creating rot around windows. Failure to maintain windows with exteriors comprised from wood, also invites moisture to infiltrate your home. With moisture present, pests such as carpenter ants and termites, are attracted and feed off the wood, creating further deterioration.
Ways to Spot: Frustratingly enough, wood rot can be tricky to spot in its early stages. Warning signs that it has already begun to attack a window is if the frame is soft to the touch or if there is noticeable discoloration. When rot has been present for an extended period of time, the homeowner will be able to spot the water entering the home.
Health Risks: In addition to the financial difficulties wood rot can cause, there are several health risks it poses. Wood rot causes mold growth. This is particularly problematic for those with primary immunodeficiency and asthma. Even for overall healthy individuals, prolonged exposure to mold can lead to sore throats, respiratory infections, congestion, frequent sneezing, and strained breathing.
Preventing Wood Rot Around Windows: A home window replacement project shouldn’t be entrusted to just any contractor. Take care to get multiple quotes, verify references, and read online reviews. You’ll likely have more success with a contractor that prefers full frame window replacement over insert window replacement. This allows for the inspection of the rough opening and avoids a situation where you’re installing a new window into a rotted frame, as can happen with insert windows. Wood window trim should be routinely painted and sealed in order to prevent rot from manifesting itself. Inspect the caulking around your windows frequently and scrape away any that has hardened and replace with new caulk.
Why The Contractor You Pick For Your Window Installation Project Matters: