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Ways to spot, prevent water damage, wood rot

Water damage in a home in nearly unavoidable. Most houses are built with lumber, which means any residence could become a source of wood rot. However, there are steps homeowners can take to prevent this from happening, and it starts by taking a look around.

If any concerns appear to be adding up, a property inspection could help figure out where the water is coming from, and what to do to fix it. 

Tips to identify damage
Water damage typically leads directly to wood rot. This type of home hazard could be tricky to spot, and it doesn't matter the condition of the property, when it was built or how well it was maintained - it could happen at any time. 

Wood rot often means that lumber becomes weak, and is eventually destroyed, according to HouseLogic. The cause is moisture, which combines to wreak havoc on a home. This problem doesn't have to become a major issue, though, and homeowners who catch it quickly can fix it before any serious damage is done. However, if the situation is left untreated it could spread throughout the house, and even attract termites.

Therefore, a home inspection is an ideal method to catch any water damage and wood rot. In addition, homeowners should keep an eye out in a few specific places. The windows, doors and dryer vent are all likely places where water could get in. If a home has any damaged gutters as well, that could pose a problem. If this component looks damaged, or is sagging, that might mean that water could enter the property.  

Moreover, sometimes a person's best line of defense against wood rot is their nose, according to contractor Tom Arstingstall, a contributor for real estate website Active Rain. He explained that it is hard to visually spot the damage, but it might produce a musty odor. The kitchen is a common source for water leaks, so if a homeowners detects any unusual smells near the sink, that could be attributed to water damage and wood rot. 

Solutions to solve problems
If a home appears to have numerous concerning areas, a property inspection could be a perfect solution. Homeowners can also take steps to prevent water damage and wood rot, as well. If there seems to be something that might become an issue, there are several ways to prevent serious damage.

For example, if windows and doors aren't sealed well, they could always be re-caulked on the outside, HouseLogic noted. The best tool to do this with is a high-quality acrylic latex version. If there are water stains around eaves, or on the ceilings, there might be a roof leak. If that's the case a home inspection could point out where it needs to be fixed.

Peeling and cracking paint might also be a result of water damage, the news source reported. This eyesore is fairly easy to fix. The affected areas need to be scraped clean, and then primed. After that, the area can be repainted. 

Additionally, steps also exist to prevent wood rot from ever occurring in the first place, according to HouseLogic. When homeowners decide to add a deck, pressure-treated lumber should be used. This type is more resistant to water damage, which means it could last longer and take more abuse from the elements. The exterior siding of a home should also be kept relatively clear. Nothing should be propped up against it, so moisture doesn't collect too close to the house. 

Overall, a property inspection can help homeowners determine where water damage is a serious risk. It could also help determine viable solutions for the problem, and help keep a home safe and in great condition. 

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