How to Delay Wood from Rotting

Wood inevitably tends to rot and decay over time, going to waste eventually. While you cannot prevent the decaying process, there are some tricks you can use to slow it down. Weathering is one of the major causes of wood rotting. For those who don’t know what weathering is, it is the breakdown process caused by natural elements like sun, rain, wind and moisture. Insects also attack wood and cause much more damage to it than weathering. One of the most effective way to slowdown rotting is to use treated wood. Paint also protects wood from weathering.


  • 1

    Always use naturally treated lumber

    Make sure you use naturally treated timber for your outdoor structures, like the house deck, fences, doors and windows that open outside. Never lay untreated timber posts directly on concrete sub floors.

  • 2

    Be mindful of peeling paint

    Be careful when painting the lumber posts. Pay special attention to the joints where window and door casings are attached to the sills. Harsh weather conditions affect the paint, so it is necessary to regularly probe your deck and other wood structures for peeling paint.

  • 3

    Keep the joints clean

    Any dirt or debris in the joints absorb moisture from the air, decreasing the life of your wood. Make sure the joints between the wooden deck and your house are clean and dry.

  • 4

    Inspect for spongy wood

    Use an awl to detect wet and spongy wood. If the tip of the awl penetrates easily into the wood, it is an indication that the area needs proper attention. Wood that resists the awl is sound and healthy.

  • 5

    Close miter joints

    Never let the miter joints remain open. Use screws to close these open joints; however, make sure you bore pilot holes in the wood before driving in the screws. Use caulk to seal cracks in your deck boards.

  • 6

    Apply preservative before primer

    A primer is a preparatory coating put on wood planks before painting them. Only a few know that it is necessary to apply a wood preservative even before applying the primer. Applying a preservative increases the life of your paint.

  • 7

    Caulk joints at the right time

    Make sure you caulk the joints after priming the wood and before applying the top coating of paint.

  • 8

    Proper Ventilation is necessary

    Proper ventilation is necessary to make your outdoor wooden structures last long. Leave space for air to move between the lumber and the sub floor. Also create an outlet vent at the top of the posts or columns to allow fresh air to creep in. To create an outlet vent, fix small metal shutters in drilled holes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ two = 3