Timber can be an aesthetically pleasing, affordable and durable choice for many types of building products, but it’s also quite susceptible to timber rot. While proper treatment and regular maintenance can and does help to prevent timber rot, all too often, home and commercial property owners neglect routine maintenance until timber is irreparably damaged. Understanding how timber rot occurs, and how it can affect your property, is the first step to protecting your home and preventing future damage.
Timber Rot: Causes and Prevention
You can’t stave off timber rot if you don’t know why it happens. Thankfully, there’s a relatively short list of things which commonly cause timber to rot, and the vast majority of them are related to excessive moisture.
Improperly installed or damaged guttering, plumbing leaks, lack of adequate drainage and exposure to the elements without proper treatment or ventilation are the leading causes of wet timber rot. Repairing damages and addressing sources of excess moisture are the best ways to prevent timber rot, along with treatment applications which help natural timber become more resistant to water intrusion.
Dry timber rot is caused by a particular type of fugal growth. While this damage is not attributed directly to water, the destructive fungi responsible for dry rot thrive in unventilated areas with high moisture levels. As with wet rot, dry timber rot can be prevented by simply ensuring proper ventilation and drainage. Both wet and dry timber rot pose a very real danger to several different areas of your property, but can become particularly dangerous if timber balconies and decking are affected. A number of balcony collapses can be attributed to rotting timbers, and these accidents can have tragic repercussions. This sort of structural damage is a danger not only to your investment, but also to anyone on your property who may be injured as a result of collapse due to structural failure.
How to Detect Timber Rot
While wet and dry timber rot alike can be unsightly and easy to spot in open areas, it may be more difficult for the untrained property owner to detect if its hidden in crawlspaces, behind panelling or inside floor voids. This is why it’s so important to make sure your home or commercial property is evaluated by a professional building inspector on a regular basis. Professional inspectors know where to look for potential timber rot, helping you address the issue before it leads to structural damage or catastrophic failures, like balcony or decking collapses.
Don’t let timber rot put your family, visitors and property in danger. Take the time to schedule a professional building inspection to make sure there are no hidden areas of damage.
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