800px-Braunfaeule_Holz_FI20070208The wood on your home is constantly being bombarded with all types of objects that could end up damaging it. These may be bugs, moisture, heat, fire, and just plain age. Learn how to spot these types of wood damage, as well as some ways to help protect your home.

Termites

Termite damage causes the wood to become hollowed out in the same direction as the grain. There are often tunnels lined with dried mud and soil. The termites will also make holes through plaster and drywall as well. This is a very common problem, since termites infest about 1 in 30 homes each year. An annual termite inspection is a great way to catch termites before they can cause significant damage to your home.

Dry Rot

While there is still a significant amount of moisture for this kind of rot to occur, it gives the wood a dried out appearance and causes it to become brittle and crumble. An early warning sign is the appearance of rust-colored dust. The wood then falls apart in rectangular pieces. This kind of damage often occurs several months after flooding. The best ways to prevent it are by dehumidifying the area and using fungicide to treat any porous surfaces.

Water

Prolonged exposure to moisture allows fungi to digest the cellulose in the wood causing extensive damage. The wood ends up darkening in color and may have a spongy texture. It can also shrink in size. Keeping moisture away from supporting wood structures can help avoid this scenario, and adding in extra support beams alongside the damaged ones can help fix the problem. Sealing and dehumidifying the space can help prevent future problems.

Fire/Smoke

Soot and strong odors can adhere to wood surfaces after a fire and be difficult to remove. Some damage may also be worse than it initially appears. Look for dark patches on wood after a fire where it may have been scorched, even if not fully burned. Clean off any scorched areas and try to remove as much soot as possible. This may require some scrubbing, and the cleaner you use will depend on if the wood is finished or not. Conditioning after cleaning is important to help keep wood in good shape long-term.

At Georgia Pro Inspection Company we serve all of Metro Atlanta with reliable home inspection services. We perform detailed home inspections and provide easy to read information with illustrated reports regarding your home. Call us today at (770) 655-0536 for more information.