How Long Does It Take For Wood To Rot From Water? | Mr. Happy House

Published January 19th, 2021 | By Mike Monyak, Founder of Mr. Happy House

What Will Be Covered:

Is water coming into your home? A well built house with the right framing and expertise is surely not capable of withstanding the true forces of nature. Depending the type of wood installed, whether if it’s in the framing, siding, soffit, fascia, or decking, rotted wood is never something that should be ignored. 

Over time, rotted wood can pose a serious health hazard if kept untreated for a long time. Rotted wood can start to degenerate and lose it’s strength, making your home vulnerable to future damage.

The best way to prevent your wood siding, framing, soffit, or fascia from rotting is to first take preliminary steps beforehand, but if you’re on this page, then it is most likely that you already have rotted wood, so let’s first identify the rot and fix the issue before you have this:

rotted wood falling house
Picture from Aldersgate Center

The wood rot that you see above is an extreme example of what can happen to your house if you let rotted wood untreated for a long time. Let’s dive into how long does it take for wood to rot from water if you’re starting to have water coming in unexpectedly.

Water is Not the Main Cause of Wood Rot

Don’t worry, water by itself is not going to make your wood rot right away. Here are the 3 things that need to happen for your wood to start rotting:

  • Exposure (if any wood siding is not painted then it can be vulnerable to rot)
  • Warm Temperatures
  • Moisture

The reason I included exposure as one of the main causes of wood rot coupled with moisture is because outside air contains thousands of particles that include fungi. Once this airborne fungi, combined with a humid climate, and water, are in contact with wood, this is when wood rot will start to happen.

rotted wood siding in front of house

If you live in Texas or a hot climate, then there may be a good chance that any wood you have exposed will rot. A combination of untreated wood that is exposed, with warm temperatures, and constant moisture will inevitably cause wood rot to occur.

If you have wood siding, painting it with quality exterior paint every 3-6 years should extend the life of your siding from any rot. As a professional siding and painting company, we highly recommend installing Hardie Siding, which is a highly rated fiber cement siding that will never rot and can withstand high humidity in the Houston, Texas areas. 

james hardie siding installation in The Woodlands, Texas

Let's Identify if the Wood is Rotted

Here are some common signs that your wood may be rotted and may need to be repaired immediately by a home repair professional:

  • Fungus on certain areas of wood that may appear to be white, yellow, or brown
  • Peeling and flaking exterior paint
  • Wood is brittle and can be easily broken
  • Wood can be easily poked through with a finger
  • Wood has an unusual smell
  • Termites or bugs are coming out (if you see this happening, call a pest control company right away!)

How Long Does it Take for Water to Start Rotting Wood?

Depending on the type of wood, water by itself is not going to rot any wood. In colder climates in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, etc., water is going to take longer for it to start causing damage to wood. If you live in a hotter climate like Texas or Florida, water & moisture is very common and this can often lead to wood rotting in a short amount of time.

Most types of structural wood aren’t as easy to have rotted because they are often pressure treated. Pressure treated wood is different than typical untreated wood and can be found in a local supply store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Pressure treated wood is made with chemical preservatives that help make it more resistant against the elements. 

With all of the added preservatives and chemicals, wood is still wood and is still vulnerable to being rotted. 

Wood can Start to Rot in 1-6 months If:

  • Wood is untreated
  • The wooded area is sitting in water
  • Water and/or air space is hot & humid
  • The area is at or near the ground
  • Wood is exposed to dirt

Wood can Start to Rot in 1-3 Years If:

  • Wood is untreated
  • The wooded area is in a hot climate
  • The wooded area is not painted with the proper paint
  • Wood collects water on a frequent basis (from rainfall, leak in plumbing pipes, or sprinklers)
  • Wood is left uncleaned (applies to wood on the exterior which includes siding, structural posts on a patio, fascia, soffit, or fencing)

Wood Doesn't Last Forever

No matter the circumstances explained above, wood will eventually rot even if you paint wooded areas every couple of years, apply treated solutions, yearly cleaning, etc, after 10-25 years. If you have water leaking into structural wood from a roof or siding opening, you may want to call a roofing and siding company to fix the hole as soon as you can.

Want to Prevent Wood from Rotting?

pressure washing front of a stucco house in The Woodlands, Texas

If you already have wood in your home, areas such as the siding, fencing, posts on the outside, etc. then be prepared for ongoing maintenance. Here are some preliminary measure to take:

  • Fill in any small cracks/holes with caulk
  • Clean out your gutters when they get full (there’s an easy solution for that here)
  • Check all areas of your home for any leaks during or after rainfall
  • Paint, stain, or seal wooded areas
  • Pressure wash or scrub dirt of wood 

Other Siding Questions You May Have:

Got Rot?

After reading this article, you might feel a little overwhelmed. This is very typical if your house has wood siding, soffits, and fascia, or has unwanted cracks/openings around the exterior. This is why before buying a home, always do your research!

Thanks for reading this article on how long does it take for wood to rot from water, share this post with your friends on social media, or leave a comment!

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Susan Sellers
Susan Sellers
The Woodlands, TX
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"I called Mr Happy House after reading the great reviews, and I was not disappointed! Mike and his crews are extremely professional and conscientious. They performed various outdoor repairs including power washing, repaired my Hardie Siding, repaired squirrel damage on the roof, and painted my entire house. Mike oversaw every aspect of the job and made sure everything was perfect. The price was very reasonable, and I will definitely be calling Mr Happy House for future jobs!"
Liz Blasingame
Liz Blasingame
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Mike has been great at getting our siding and trim repaired on the exterior of our house. He was very thorough and the completed work is fantastic."
Dior Xu
Dior Xu
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"2nd time work with Mike and his wonderful crew. They worked so hard to paint our whole house perfectly. We are so impressed with how fast and how flawless they got the job done. We really appreciate all of them! Yay for Mike and Mr. Happy House!"
Ashley Donaldson
Ashley Donaldson
Spring, TX
Read More
"Mike was great to work with. He explained all that needed to be done to install a quality roof that would last. Had other quotes but other contractors were not as informative and did not include everything that was needed. Mike’s crew was courteous, did an excellent job and completed the work in a timely fashion. If you are not familiar with working with insurance adjusters be sure Mike meets with them when you set up a meeting. This was helpful in my case and made the claims process run smoothly. I am very pleased 😀 with his service and recommend him to my neighbors of which two have used him across from my home."
Bradley Faldyn
Bradley Faldyn
Spring, TX
Read More
"Mike and his crew are top notch. Honest and detail oriented. Customer satisfaction and high quality workmanship are outstanding!!! Very satisfied with our new roof!!!"
Mark Rodrigues
Mark Rodrigues
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"My house needed new siding, soffits, and fascia. After seeing another job Mike had done, I requested an estimate. The pricing was fair to me, so he went to work. Everything was completed with Hardie products. The house was painted to my desires and I can honestly say I am more than happy. He paid great attention to the details and ensured the work was of the highest quality. The next time I need work done, I will be contacting Mr. Happy House."
Bradley Utz
Bradley Utz
Tomball, TX
Read More
"Very impressive! I needed to have my house roof replaced. I am very glad, very grateful, and very satisfied that I chose Mr. Happy House for this job in July 2018. The crew was thorough in planning, removing old shingles, hammering new ones, examining the roof for trouble spots and attending to them on-the-spot, and cleaning up as the work completed. Mike Monyak and his entire team are professional, attentive, fair, competent and courteous; they did exceptionally well what they contracted to do. I trusted my roof upgrade with Mr. Happy House and will confidently use this company as the need arises in the future."
Ken Baird
Ken Baird
Conroe, TX
Read More
"I had Mr. Happy House replace my wood siding with Hardy Plank Siding. Mike and his team did an excellent job replacing the siding and with the great paint job. They offered great suggestions and really paid attention to detail. I highly recommend Mr. Happy House! Nice job and thank you Mike and taam! Ken B"
Brittney Duffy
Brittney Duffy
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Mike with Mr. Happy House has been our go-to contractor in The Woodlands for 10-15 years. Hiring a contractor can be anxiety-provoking, but Mike is a true professional. It is always a relief knowing the work will be done right the first time. Mike also takes the time to listen and is very thorough in explaining what needs to be done and offering alternative options available. Over the years, we’ve been so happy with Mike’s services that we’ve hired Mr. Happy House for fencing, roof replacement, fascia and soffit replacement, rotted exterior window frame replacement, exterior house painting, pressure washing, and other home maintenance. If you’re looking for a professional, knowledgeable contractor, don’t hesitate to give Mike with Mr. Happy House a call!"
Misty Hanna
Misty Hanna
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Mike was awesome. He came out quickly, listened to what we wanted done and came back with a very comprehensive quote for us. He gave us the time we needed without being pushy to decided if this was the right move for us. He was upfront and honest about what needed to be done and the cost. He and his crew worked quickly, efficiently and did a great job. I highly recommend if you need work done to give him a call."
Jeremy C.
Jeremy C.
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Very great work, Mike has been very helpful in fixing the damages on the outside of my house and they have done a great job in painting my garage's exterior. Mike was able to answer all of my questions regarding the problems that needed to get fixed. Mr. Happy House has repaired the damages on my house and also made my house look very nice too. I will definitely recommend him my neighbors."
Mike Sorenson
Mike Sorenson
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"I called Mike to help fix a leak in my ceiling. He diagnosed the problem and also quoted replacing the remaining aging wood we had on our house, as well as replace the chimney top. His quote was fair so we decided to knock it all out. His team is professional and finished the job quickly. He also fixed my fence gate and power washed my driveway, patio and sidewalk along with the house. I plan to use him in the future for other projects."
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Susan Sellers
Susan Sellers
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"I called Mr Happy House after reading the great reviews, and I was not disappointed! Mike and his crews are extremely professional and conscientious. They performed various outdoor repairs including power washing, repaired my Hardie Siding, repaired squirrel damage on the roof, and painted my entire house. Mike oversaw every aspect of the job and made sure everything was perfect. The price was very reasonable, and I will definitely be calling Mr Happy House for future jobs!"
Liz Blasingame
Liz Blasingame
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Mike has been great at getting our siding and trim repaired on the exterior of our house. He was very thorough and the completed work is fantastic."
Dior Xu
Dior Xu
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"2nd time work with Mike and his wonderful crew. They worked so hard to paint our whole house perfectly. We are so impressed with how fast and how flawless they got the job done. We really appreciate all of them! Yay for Mike and Mr. Happy House!"
Ashley Donaldson
Ashley Donaldson
Spring, TX
Read More
"Mike was great to work with. He explained all that needed to be done to install a quality roof that would last. Had other quotes but other contractors were not as informative and did not include everything that was needed. Mike’s crew was courteous, did an excellent job and completed the work in a timely fashion. If you are not familiar with working with insurance adjusters be sure Mike meets with them when you set up a meeting. This was helpful in my case and made the claims process run smoothly. I am very pleased 😀 with his service and recommend him to my neighbors of which two have used him across from my home."
Bradley Faldyn
Bradley Faldyn
Spring, TX
Read More
"Mike and his crew are top notch. Honest and detail oriented. Customer satisfaction and high quality workmanship are outstanding!!! Very satisfied with our new roof!!!"
Mark Rodrigues
Mark Rodrigues
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"My house needed new siding, soffits, and fascia. After seeing another job Mike had done, I requested an estimate. The pricing was fair to me, so he went to work. Everything was completed with Hardie products. The house was painted to my desires and I can honestly say I am more than happy. He paid great attention to the details and ensured the work was of the highest quality. The next time I need work done, I will be contacting Mr. Happy House."
Bradley Utz
Bradley Utz
Tomball, TX
Read More
"Very impressive! I needed to have my house roof replaced. I am very glad, very grateful, and very satisfied that I chose Mr. Happy House for this job in July 2018. The crew was thorough in planning, removing old shingles, hammering new ones, examining the roof for trouble spots and attending to them on-the-spot, and cleaning up as the work completed. Mike Monyak and his entire team are professional, attentive, fair, competent and courteous; they did exceptionally well what they contracted to do. I trusted my roof upgrade with Mr. Happy House and will confidently use this company as the need arises in the future."
Ken Baird
Ken Baird
Conroe, TX
Read More
"I had Mr. Happy House replace my wood siding with Hardy Plank Siding. Mike and his team did an excellent job replacing the siding and with the great paint job. They offered great suggestions and really paid attention to detail. I highly recommend Mr. Happy House! Nice job and thank you Mike and taam! Ken B"
Brittney Duffy
Brittney Duffy
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Mike with Mr. Happy House has been our go-to contractor in The Woodlands for 10-15 years. Hiring a contractor can be anxiety-provoking, but Mike is a true professional. It is always a relief knowing the work will be done right the first time. Mike also takes the time to listen and is very thorough in explaining what needs to be done and offering alternative options available. Over the years, we’ve been so happy with Mike’s services that we’ve hired Mr. Happy House for fencing, roof replacement, fascia and soffit replacement, rotted exterior window frame replacement, exterior house painting, pressure washing, and other home maintenance. If you’re looking for a professional, knowledgeable contractor, don’t hesitate to give Mike with Mr. Happy House a call!"
Misty Hanna
Misty Hanna
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Mike was awesome. He came out quickly, listened to what we wanted done and came back with a very comprehensive quote for us. He gave us the time we needed without being pushy to decided if this was the right move for us. He was upfront and honest about what needed to be done and the cost. He and his crew worked quickly, efficiently and did a great job. I highly recommend if you need work done to give him a call."
Jeremy C.
Jeremy C.
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"Very great work, Mike has been very helpful in fixing the damages on the outside of my house and they have done a great job in painting my garage's exterior. Mike was able to answer all of my questions regarding the problems that needed to get fixed. Mr. Happy House has repaired the damages on my house and also made my house look very nice too. I will definitely recommend him my neighbors."
Mike Sorenson
Mike Sorenson
The Woodlands, TX
Read More
"I called Mike to help fix a leak in my ceiling. He diagnosed the problem and also quoted replacing the remaining aging wood we had on our house, as well as replace the chimney top. His quote was fair so we decided to knock it all out. His team is professional and finished the job quickly. He also fixed my fence gate and power washed my driveway, patio and sidewalk along with the house. I plan to use him in the future for other projects."
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