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Home maintenance is something you must undertake regularly if you own a home. It’s not necessarily fun, but when done regularly, it saves you on costly repairs. One expensive repair stems from wood rot. Wood rot can happen anywhere there is wood on your home. This includes wooden decks, wood siding, window frames, shutters, fascia board and your roof deck. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent wood rot.

Understanding the Cause of Wood Rot

Wood rot is what happens when a type of fungus begins to grow. It requires the right amount of moisture, oxygen, the right temperature and, of course, wood. When your wood becomes moist and stays moist for any extended amount of time, fungi begins to grow and feeds on the wood. It doesn’t take much moisture for the process to begin, and if left unchecked, it can do damage quickly.

Dangers of Wood Rot

There are two primary dangers that come from wood rot. It can impact the structural integrity of many parts of your home. From your roofing system to your walls and your deck, wood rot can cause parts of the home to fail. When the roof deck becomes rotted, a strong summer storm can do more than a little damage because it makes the wood weak. If your deck or stairs rot, you or a family member may fall when the wood beneath gives way. You’ll also find that rotten wood is attractive to unwanted pests and animals.

Prevention Steps

Because wood rot can occur anywhere there is wood on your home, it takes diligence to make sure it doesn’t have a chance to do damage. It’s commonly found on wood siding, foundation, decks, stairs, fascia boards and your roof. With so many wood elements in a home, just how do you prevent the damage?

One of the best methods of prevention is to keep flat surfaces clean of debris. This includes your roof, deck and stairs. Never let leaves sit on your shingles, and keep your deck and stairs clean all year. Cleaning your roof should include your gutters. Gutters that fill with leaves allow water to overflow down the fascia, and back up into your attic and roof. If you want to avoid cleaning gutters, install roof gutter guard systems from a company like Gutter Helmet. If you don’t have a gutter system at all, consider buying gutters so the water flows away from your home – rather than off your roof, onto your deck, into your landscaping and eventually into your basement or crawlspace.

Properly treating your wood is another way to help prevent wood rot. That means staining your deck and stairs, and painting your fascia and siding. When you need to re-affix a stair or fascia, always use galvanized nails to lessen the chance of the nails degrading over time.

Clean, well-functioning gutters are key to keeping your roof, deck, stairs and landscaping free of wood rot. If buying gutters and researching roof gutter guard systems has been on your to-do list for a while, don’t put it off any longer. Call (800) 824-3772 and we’ll connect you with your local Gutter Helmet installer who can also help you with new gutters.