When Things Are Rottin’ in Groton
Peeling paint can be an early warning sign, from your house, telling you there’s something wrong — possibly rotting wood trim. When you see paint peeling on the outside of your home, don’t panic; just have a closer look and maybe get professional consultation. It can save you money in the long run.
My company specializes in replacing exterior trim on many homes around the Groton area, which seem to have more rotted trim than I’ve seen in my long career of carpentry. Some of these houses are only 10 or 15 years old. I wonder:
I’ve heard that they grow trees so close together, they struggle to get enough sunlight and, as a consequence, the trees grow taller, faster. So, does a densely packed, fast growing forestry method result in an inferior harvest? Hmmmm.
Lower grade, recycled primer is often used for pre-primed lumber. Hmmmm.
When removing rotted wood, I often find non-primed end cuts. I know bare, unsealed wood will soak up moisture like a sponge. Hmmmm.
Pick your theory; but, know this – when, at first, you notice peeling paint, be advised, it’s not too late. One small repair (or two or three) will stop greater damage to framing, trim and siding.
Now, if you have the carpentry skills, the tools, and you choose to do the work yourself, I offer these tips to you:
When replacing trim adjacent to wood siding, cut along the edges and the ends of the trim where it meets the wood siding. That’s important because the siding can split and splinter as you pry the trim boards from the house.
Eventually, all wood rots. And, it won’t be long long, if proper measures aren’t applied. Use a good, quality primer before installing. Cover the end cuts, the edge cuts, and the back sides of all trim.
Consider using plastic board. It’s common these days. There are many different kinds. You’ll find PVC is the most common. It costs more. But, the product lasts much longer. Some varieties don’t even need to be painted.
Always use high-quality ‘paintable’ caulking. This will provide neatly sealed all joints after you’ve re-installed trim. It will keep water from seeping underneath the trim. And, we know what that will do.
A final touch up with high quality, exterior paint will make your home look new again. Moreover, you can be satisfied you have rescued from rot your home’s framing lumber. Hidden underneath that trim you’ll know it’s bound to last for many years to come.
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