Preventing Dry Rot Under Your Siding

In order to ensure that your home remains structurally sound, it's critical that you are taking the time to prepare the wood underneath your home's siding to withstand water damage. Dry rot (the term commonly used to describe wood that has sustained significant water damage) can compromise the quality of your shingles.

As you replace the existing shingles on your home's exterior, here are three simple tips you can use to help prevent dry rot in the future.

1. Prime the wood underneath your shingles.

Once you have stripped away all your old shingles to prepare for the installation of new ones, you should take the time to prime all the wood decking that your new shingles will attach to.

Coating the wood surface with an oil-based primer will allow the wood decking to become water-resistant. You should coat all sides of the wood (including front, back, and all of the edges) to ensure maximum protection against dry rot once your new shingles are installed.

2. Replace existing wood decking with a rot-resistant product.

If you live in an area where it frequently rains, snows, or you experience high levels of humidity, then the wood decking underneath your home's siding could be especially susceptible to water damage. You can replace the existing wood decking with a rot-resistant wood product once you have stripped away the old shingles in preparation for the installation of new ones.

Woods varieties like cypress or redwood are dense, which leaves little room for water to penetrate the surface of these wood products. Opting to use a rot-resistant wood for your decking will ensure your new shingles last well into the future without the threat of dry rot.

3. Plug all of your screws.

Screws are typically used to attach wood decking to the frame of a home in preparation for new shingles. Leaving the heads of these screws exposed provides a place for water to collect. In order to deter dry rot from forming around the edges of your screws, you should ensure that each fastener is plugged.

This process requires that you pre-drill a hole for your screw to go into, then use wood glue to insert a small wooden plug over the top of the screw's head once the wood has been fastened into place. The plug can be sanded to match the smoothness of the surrounding wood, and it will help prevent water from finding its way into your wood decking through screw holes.

Taking measures to prevent dry rot before you replace your old siding will help ensure that poor wood decking doesn't compromise the quality of your new siding in the future. To learn more, click here for info.