Wall leaks due to rotten wood in footer!


Whether you buy firewood from a dealer or cut it up yourself, chances are you've come across a piece or two of rotten firewood. Should you burn this rotten or punky wood?

Compared to solid, well seasoned firewood, the rotten wood is definitely less desirable. Although it might not burn as well, some firewood that has a small amount of rotten material can still be used.

One important thing to consider is where the rotten material is at. Is the firewood rotten in the middle heartwood?

Or is the outer sapwood rotten?

The difference between the two could dictate whether or not you want to use it.

Some trees like oak can lay on the ground for a while and still be okay to use. The outer edge of the wood known as the sapwood will become punky or rotten, but the inner heartwood remains solid.

Generally, if the heartwood is still solid a little rotten sapwood on the outer edge will not render the wood useless.

Things To Consider


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If you know how to repair rotten wood in a travel trailer, you can save a lot of money. Sometimes travel trailers can leak due to a variety of factors. A dropped tree limb might cause damage to a roof. Rubber seals and caulk can deteriorate with age. Or a super storm might lead to water entry. Rotten wood in a travel trailer is most often the result of extended exposure to water. If your travel trailer has water in it make sure to dry it out as soon as possible and fix the leak.

To repair rotten wood in a travel trailer, you will need:

covered area for making repairs replacement wood general tools general fasteners stick on tile
Evaluate where the rotten wood is in the travel trailer. If a water line has burst and continually leaked you may need to remove some appliances or counters to get to it. Most rotten wood problems in travel trailers are seen in the floor. These repairs do take some time and effort to repair. Usually the floor needs to be...
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When exterior walls are exposed to rainwater or high humidity, water and moisture can travel through the masonry and affect your internal walls. This means that your walls may stay damp for a long time before drying, which may lead to mold growth and irreparable damage. In humid areas like Florida, wall damage due to water penetration isn’t a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN.

How can you prevent water and mold from affecting your walls? By following the next seven steps to waterproofing exterior walls.

Check walls for faults: Waterproofing external walls is the best solution only if the walls become damp as a result of rainwater or moisture. Before shopping around for waterproofing products, it’s important to eliminate any other causes of structural dampness. It could be anything, from cracks in your bricks or condensation within the wall to a burst water pipe. Once you fix the issue, you can apply a waterproofer as a preventative measure.
Clean your gutters:...
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Replacing rotten porch flooring with new flooring.

A wood porch floor can rot and deteriorate over time due to exposure to the elements. When replacing a porch floor, be sure to use pressure treated pine or other rot resistant wood for both the joists and flooring.

It’s a good idea to prime all four sides of tongue and groove flooring before installing it to reduce expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and humidity.

Pressure treated flooring that has been kiln dried after treatment can be painted right away. Flooring that hasn’t been dried after treatment should be stacked with spacers between the boards, protected from getting wet, and allowed to dry for at least 30 days before painting.

After the old flooring has been removed using a crow bar, replace any rotten floor joists with treated lumber before installing the flooring.

Use a rubber mallet or a scrap of the flooring as a protective block when tapping the floor boards...

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By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 18 Sep 2012|*Discuss

There are two ways that you can deal with rotten wood, either cut the rot out and replace it with new wood or use a chemical wood hardener kit. Doors, windows and frames are the most common places to find rotten wood, where rain has got in through damaged paintwork. It can also be found in internal timbers, in ceilings, walls and floors, if rain has got in or if there is a leak in the plumbing system.

Rotten wood should not be confused with dry rot as it should be treated very differently. Dry rot is a fungus that can spread and do a lot of damage to a home so if you are not sure what you are looking at get an expert in to check it out.

Replacing Rotten Timber

Cut away all the rotten wood using a craft knife and a chisel, cutting back until you get to the good wood under or behind the rot. Don't be tempted to leave any rotten wood behind, it will just mean that you have to do the job all over again in a year...

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If you have ever owned a wooden home, you may have had to deal with rotten wood. The fact is, it isn’t as hard as many seem to think. The first step is to identify the problem area and ascertain how much wood you actually need to repair. The area needing repair seen most often is the bottom foot or so of the exterior wall, and sometimes under windows where moisture has seeped in. Other areas that seem to rot quickly is the chimney where it meets the roof, and exterior corners, where rain has the best chance to wash over it. Rotten wood can occur anywhere in your home, so be vigilant against moisture getting behind the wood through seams and cracks. Keep these problem areas trouble free by caulking every few years.

Once you decide the width and length of the area to be replaced, use a chalk line to mark the lines you will need to follow with your circular saw. Remember that the plywood needs to end at the center of a stud. Set the blade depth for the thickness of the wood,...

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Both rotting and mold in wood window frames are a result of moisture being allowed to come into contact with the material repeatedly for a prolonged period of time.

While rotting may be a result of a poorly functioning window, it is not always the sole cause of leaks. Often leaks in a house happen through openings in the wall structure or even the roof.

But regardless whether the source of the leak is in the window or in the structure, water damage to wood windows means one thing: the window is no longer performing as it should.

Remember, it is not always easy to recognize water damage in your window frames. While it may show up as leaks on the wall, a lot of times it is impossible to tell if the wall is damaged or moldy on the inside, until the window is taken out.

And while to you it may not look like there is anything wrong with your windows, leaving rotten frames is a serious concern for several reasons.

If left untreated, rotten wood frames can...
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Wood rot inside walls is typically caused by water leaking in during severe weather or leaks in plumbing. It is essential that you first solve this problem before engaging in rot repairs. This will ensure that moisture does not continue to build up and damage the new repairs. Removing all rotted lumber and other materials is important, as dry rot will spread to surrounding wood and the rotted wood will attract insects and other pests, causing even greater damage.

Locating the Problem

Look for wet or soft spots along wall where there is suspected damage. Mildew or mold on the surface of the wall near the rotted area is another clue to rot. Investigate sagging, cracking and breakage in plaster and drywall as well.

Cut away drywall or plaster to expose the frame of the wall anywhere you suspect rot. This gives you a visual inspection area and improves circulation, drying the dampened area. Set up a fan to blow through the damaged area if excessive moisture is...

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By Bruce W. Maki, Editor


If there is one fundamental flaw with older wood-framed buildings, it's the fact that ordinary lumber was used adjacent to masonry. Concrete, brick, stone and mortar are porous and absorbent materials that are capable of wicking moisture upward from the ground. And since the ground in many areas is usually damp, this means that any wood placed next to masonry could be continually damp. A common problem with older buildings is decay (rot) that attacks the lower-most wood components.

The lowest structural component on many wood-frame buildings is the sill plate. There are regional variations in terminology, so in some places this piece may be known by another name, such as the mudsill. The term sill plate normally means a piece of wood that is attached to the top of a foundation wall. Floor joists would normally rest on the sill plate, then floor sheathing on top of the joists.

But Where To Start?


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I was on a job recently where I had to completely rework the entry door install on a house. It was difficult to tell from a distance, but the original work had been poorly done (and that might be an understatement!). All of the errors made in that original installation became more and more apparent once I started disassembling the install in order to right the wrongs. Sometimes you have to peel back more than the skin to see how rotten the fruit is at the core. And then you need to take a strategic approach to help that core heal.

The original rotten door entry (Note: Click any image to enlarge)

Peeling the Layers

We started by removing the side casings. This is where we encountered our first issue.

Removing the casings revealed improper weather barrier installation—no flashing was applied (see photos below). On top of that, one of the sides was missing a section of housewrap, leading to rotten sheathing. There was also rot at the bottom corner of the...

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Taking Care of Your Old Barn

Tip #5 - Repair Structural Problems.

Structural problems in agricultural buildings can be a serious threat to their survival. Structural failure can rapidly lead to collapse of part or all of a building, particularly when the building is stressed by a heavy load of equipment, hay, snow, or even by high winds.

Wood frame agricultural buildings are relatively easily dated by the type of structure they have. Post-and-beam frames with heavy timbers and wooden pegged joinery generally date from the nineteenth century and perhaps earlier. Stud-frame construction with dimension lumber and roof trusses generally dates from the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Sometimes farmers reused timbers or framed sections recycled from earlier barns in their new barns, confusing matters for the casual observer. Many barns are composed of two or more structures from different periods.

Before doing any structural...

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