Why rot happens?
Rot occurs when wood has been exposed to moisture in addition to oxygen and the correct temperature. Due to Maui's warm and wet climate, the perfect conditions for rot occur on a regular basis. Especially in wetter climates like Haiku and Hana, but don't be mistaken rot can occur all over the island in places that receive less moisture like Kula, Pukalani, Kihei, Wailuku and Lahaina.
How do you prevent rot?
Ultimately the best preventative to rot is to prevent moisture from coming into contact with the wood, but given the tropical climate this is nearly impossible to do. The next best option is to use the correct product for the correct application. A majority of the rot that is occurring (particularly in framing) is due to the fact that the wrong type of treated wood is being used for exterior applications. The wood that is bought off the shelf at one of the box stores is typically treated with a water based treatment designed for termites, not rot. This treatment is great for termites, but horrible for the decaying fungus that causes rot. There are better wood treatments that are available that will prevent both termites and rot.
Can you treat rot without replacing the wood?
Sometimes. There are epoxy resins that allow you to stabilize the rot and replace the damaged wood that work great, but carry a cost. These should only be done when structurally it is allowable and when it is not feasible to replace the wood.
Types of Rot:
- Stairs Stringers
- Window Trim
- Rafter Tails
- Roof Sheathing