Old Wood, New Wood & Wood Rot

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painting wood rot kansas city crestwood Poor material selection means this design can only fail.

"Wood rot” is a term we hear often. Homeowners in Kansas City often assume that peeling paint or any less-than-ideal appearance is wood rot. Not so – sometimes it really is wood rot but just as often it is simply a solid paint job away from being just fine.

Homes Built Before 1940

The first thing to look at is the age of the house – homes built before 1940 are made with “old growth” wood. This wood comes from larger, older trees and is denser and much less susceptible to weather.

  • Built before 1940 – “old growth” wood

  • Weathers well

    [caption id="" align="alignright" width="176"]old growth lumber Wood from old growth lumber is denser and more durable than fast growth lumber.[/caption]

  • Takes paint well

  • Repairs well

Homes Built After 1960

As the supply of existing old lumber shrank, younger and faster-growing trees were favored. This fast growth wood doesn’t hold paint very well and is very sensitive to weathering. It is, literally, planted and harvested like corn – and almost just as fast. Generally, homes built after 1960 are constructed of “fast growth” lumber and careful attention must be paid to protecting that wood to prevent degradation.

  • Built after 1960 – fast growth wood

  •  Degrades rapidly to weather

  • Softer, more difficult to repair

Design and Economics

Design changes drive much of the wood rot problem. As exterior plywood become a cost-effective alternative there were changes in trim detail. This solved one problem but often created others - see the picture to the right.

Because of these material and design changes and the consequences of those decisions, there are whole tracts of homes in many cities in which the entire exterior shell has been compromised. Re-siding is the only option - either remove-and-replace or put new right over the old.

Regardless of the age of your home, Crestwood Painting has painters that are well-trained and well-equipped to handle whatever challenge your home might present - old or new. Give us a call.

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