Thursday, November 20, 2008

Something is Rotten in the Town of Manti

This is not a phrase describing the political hierarchy of Manti, but a sad statement about the state of my west porch that was being consumed by DRY ROT!

Dry rot is the weakening of wood by one of several species of fungus. The fungus digests the parts of the wood that give it strength and stiffness. The weakened wood is somewhat dry, hence the name “dry rot.” Dry rot usually results from too much moisture in contact with wood.

The dry rot on the trim and posts on the west porch of my house was depressing. Rain had run off the roof and rotted the trim. It had splashed on the floor of the porch and had started rotting the bottoms of the posts. Some of the turned posts were missing and the porch rails were in bad shape and coming apart. What an eyesore! I had to do something soon to prevent further damage.

I rolled up my sleeves, took out my checkbook and got started. I bought new trim at Crossroad Mills. I hired Tom’s Woodturning to turn me 24 new posts. Tom had previously turned some Newell posts for this porch, and I had bought hand railings when I repaired the front porch. Dave, my favorite handyman came over, bringing his tall ladder to start the repair job. He replaced and painted the trim then started on the porch.

When I returned from a trip to San Diego a week later, I drove in the driveway and was excited to see the porch posts were repaired or replaced and painted. What a difference! Of course Dave’s work made the rest of the porch look shabbier. I pulled out my 8-foot ladder, a bucket of oil-base primer, bought some Dutch Boy Extreme Adhesion paint and went to work. I filled in dings, sanded and painted the outside door casing, the porch ceiling and window casing. I removed the screen door to have its screen replaced. If I had known how cheap and easy that was, I would have done it sooner. I repaired, sanded and painted the door before I rehung it. I also took down an ugly shelf that was a junk collector, wondering why I had not removed it sooner.

I am planning to have raingutter hung to prevent this dry rot problem in the future.