October 13, 2015 | BY: childress_admin

Got Rot? – Identification and Solutions for Log Homes

Got festering rot?  You’re in the right spot.  Log rot is a phrase that can bring log homeowners to their knees.  Most of the time wood with minor rot damage can be saved. Other times, rot can cause detrimental destruction and require replacement of entire logs.  If you missed our last post: Rotten Logs—The Fungi Beneath (add hyperlink when available), please check it out for information on how to protect your log home from turning into a bunch of rotten logs.

If a screwdriver can be pushed through the logs and they feel soft, you’ve got a rot problem. If you believe that your log home has already succumbed to the damage of rot, it is important to fix it sooner than later.  As experts in log home repairs in Virginia, we have seen incidents where minor situations turned into major restoration projects because the situation was not quickly fixed.

An image of a corner of an old wooden house with severe damage and log rot.

It is important to repair rotten logs before structural damage occurs in a log home.

The most common organism that causes wood to rot in a log home is fungus, which enters the logs through moisture or water.  Logs are an element of nature and are subject to decay and destruction without proper care or attention. For a quick review on wood decay and fungi, check out this educational YouTube video on Wood Decay, Rot & Surface Fungi.

Let’s check out the different types of wood rots that can be seen on log homes.

Different Wood Rots

Brown Rot

This is the primary sign of wood decay seen in log homes.  It is identified as tiny white spots in its immature stage and will later grow into a brownish color.  Brown rot consumes the wood and destroys the wood fibers, causing it to become soft and deteriorate.  Brown rot creates clear rectangular or cube-shaped cracks in the wood.

An image of rotten wood with many rectangular shaped cracks.

Brown rot is characterized by its distinguished rectangular shaped cracks.

“Dry rot” is actually a type of brown rot.  As with other rot, dry rot requires the presence of moisture and other factors to begin wood destruction and grow. Dry rot completely sieves the nutrients from the wood leaving behind a dry brown powder, which is actually the destroyed wood.

White Rot

This type of rot can be identified by its light color as the fungus bleaches the color of wood.  This causes the logs to take on a gray-white to yellow appearance.  If left untreated, this rot leaves a stringy fibrous appearance with a spongy texture.  White rot can be found in hardwoods and are aggressive destroyers.  Checkout this page: Know Your Wood Rotting Fungi to see a great picture comparison of brown rot and white rot.

Soft Rot

Caused by fungi and bacteria, soft rot is found on shallow surfaces of wood with high moisture contents.  Soft rot leaves behind cavities within the wood cells and can erode cell walls.  Soft rot is sometimes mistaken for brown rot, due to its brown appearance.

Remediation or Restoration? Tis the Question.

Sometimes minor log rot can be fixed without log removal.  This basic process involves:

  1. Identifying Rotted Areas
  2. Removing Wood From Rotted Areas
  3. Prime Area With a Bonding Agent
  4. Fill Area with Epoxy
  5. Re-stain and Reseal

If you decide to take on this task yourself, take a look at Log Home Store’s Article: Restoring Structural Integrity to Rotted Logs, which offers a more in-depth explanation of the process.

If damage is more extensive, then we recommend seeking professional help.  If you live in Virginia or the surrounding states, please give us a call.  As experts in log home repairs in Virginia, rotten logs is one of the most common service calls that we receive, and we are able to proficiently fix the problem.  It is important to remove rot before structural damage occurs to your log home.  We would be happy to come out to give an assessment and make recommendations to decrease future log rot.

With our experience in log home repairs, we can diagnose rotten logs, preform patch-ups, and replace damaged logs.  With over 40 years of experience, we have been providing quality service in building, restoring, and repairing log homes.

Let our talented crew restore your rotten logs, making your home as good as new. Contact us TODAY!


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