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painted rotting wood

Should You Paint Over Rotted Wood?

If your home has some trim pieces that seem to have a little bit of rot or mold, you might be thinking that painting over them is a quick and easy solution. However, while this might take care of the visual aspects, it will not address the real underlying issues and could actually make the problem worse. For the most part, “out of sight, out of mind” isn’t the best way to deal with possible structural damage to your home.  

In this article, we have laid out some of the reasons for dark spots or damaged wood that painting over just won’t fix. Some articles floating around on the internet will tell you that it is fine to do, but the truth is that ignoring the real causes of wood damage can have major consequences. By understanding these issues and how they should be properly addressed, you can identify what you are dealing with and get to the root of the problem instead of simply covering it up.  

Termites 

If you are noticing cracked or damaged wood on or around your home, including fences or gates, this could be a sign that you have a termite infestation. Termites eat and damage wood and can greatly reduce the structural integrity of your home if they are allowed to remain in the area. The only way to deal with a termite problem is to find their epicenter and remove it so they can’t proliferate and damage your home’s foundation, walls, or subfloors.  

Painting over termite damage isn’t just ineffective, in some cases it may also be a legal problem. If you are planning on selling your home eventually, an inspector will be able to tell that you have simply covered the damage with paint. This could make the home ineligible for sale until the damage is fixed, which may be incredibly expensive.  

Moisture 

Moisture can easily cause rotting and splitting in wood, and a new coat of paint will not do anything to fix the problem. When water soaks into wood, it can cause wood to expand and swell as well as deteriorate to the point of falling apart. So, painting over the problem only won’t fix it, it will just add to it. The paint won’t be able to stick to the wet and damaged wood, which means it won’t look very good when you paint over it.  

While paint can help protect your home from wet weather, it won’t fix the problem if the moisture has already soaked in. If you have moisture rot in the wood of your home, the odds are good that you have a leak somewhere in the house. Before you can paint an area, you will have to make sure that the leak is fixed and that it won’t contribute to additional wood rot down the road.  

Mold  

If moisture is allowed to sit in one place for a long time, it can eventually start to grow into mold. Mold can have serious health consequences if it isn’t taken care of and properly removed. Homes with mold problems can be a cause of lung irritation, allergies, and many more concerns, which is why painting over mold should never be done. All painting over mold will do is agitate the spores, which will then grow elsewhere in the house.  

Now that we explained why painting over rotten or damaged wood is never a good idea, here is another helpful suggestion. Contact a professional like Five Star Painting who can properly assess the damaged area and suggest how to fix it. The service professionals at Five Star Painting are trained to identify the causes of damaged wood and experienced in the best ways to fix it. We can assist and guide you through the whole process, so you and your home stay safe and secure for many years to come.