Be a Dry Rot Detective

by Chris Bjorklund

Years ago, I paid for a half-baked paint job where none of the prep was done properly. It’s sad but true. According to Greg Kuzmicki, owner of Solidarity Painting, a Diamond Certified company, many painters take shortcuts, costly ones. For example, some paint right over dry rot they because they simply want to get paid and move onto the next job. The homeowner pays later when wood fungus spreads causing mildew and mold to grow. Termites live on this stuff.

It’s best to catch dry rot early. Before hiring a painter, do a little inspection yourself by checking siding, window trim and uneven surfaces. Poke in a nail or a screwdriver, and if it goes in more than one-quarter inch, repairs need to be done. That means: 1) check how widespread the problem is; 2) replace damaged areas with new wood; 3) add a moisture paper barrier; 4) fully prime and seal before installing; 5) and do the caulking last. Now you’re ready to paint!