Eileen's Blog


May 14th, 2014 5:52 PM by Eileen Denhard

Dry rot is really a misnomer -- it should be called 'wet rot' and it causes hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage annually.


Check your deck for rot.


During summer.


Because catching rot, before the damage is terminal, can save thousands of dollars.


Rot occurs where wood stays wettest the longest. Wood rots if it cannot dry out between rainfalls. Therefore, check the places where water gets trapped, and remove as many of these traps as you can. They include:

  • Gaps in the decking where sand, leaves, and pine needles collect. Remove the debris regularly.
  • Areas under flowerpots and planter boxes -- these areas are particularly vulnerable because they get wet more often when plants are watered.
  • Countersunk nails or screws that create depressions which hold water. The water gets into the end grain of the wood where the fibers are broken by the fasteners.
  • The point where a cantilevered deck penetrates a wall.

Avoid creating traps for water when repairing or rebuilding decks. For example, it is better to use a single 4 by 8 than to use two 2 by 8 nailed together. Water will inevitably find its way in between the two 2 by 8 and cause rot.

Another common place for moisture penetration and rot is at the end grain of deck boards where they are butted tightly together. It is better to leave a ½-inch gap between the ends of boards.



Deck boards should be installed with the crown facing up. If the board warps slightly, the water will drain off the board. Boards installed with the crown facing down, cup and collect water.



Posted in:General
Posted by Eileen Denhard on May 14th, 2014 5:52 PM



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