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How to Prevent Wood Siding from Rotting at the Bottom

Posted on July 5, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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If your wood siding is rotting at the bottom, you need to take effective measures to prevent further decay. In this blog post, we will go over some preventive methods to stop wood siding decay at the bottom of the boards. But let us first understand what wood rot is. 

What Is Wood Rotting?

Wood siding rotting
Rotten Wood (siding)

Wood is mainly composed of two naturally occurring and very abundant substances: cellulose and lignin. 

These two organic compounds combine to give wood rigidity, structure, and texture. However, like most things, wood can decay or decompose over time or when exposed to certain conditions. Wood decay or decomposition is known as wood rotting or wood rot. This is common in home structures and siding, especially when exposed to moisture and dampness. 

Many homeowners mistakenly believe carpenter ants, termites, or insects have caused damage to their siding, but this isn’t always true. These pests are, however, attracted to soft, wet, and already decayed wood. 

If your wood siding has begun to rot, there is more to blame than ants and termites. The real culprits are dampness, fungus, and moisture, and possibly your siding installer and a lack of maintenance. 

Is Wood Siding Rotting At The Bottom Common?

Wood siding is aesthetically appealing, but one of the biggest issues homeowners face with it is rotting and deterioration. Wood siding can rot, which is one of the most prominent reasons homeowners shift to other siding materials like vinyl, metal, and fiberglass. If you have installed wood siding on your home or office, you may have noticed signs of rotting at the bottom—not surprising, though, because this is where siding is most likely to be exposed to moisture, dampness, pests, and fungus. 

In the sections below, we will explain why wood siding rots at the bottom. But now, let’s look at some common signs of wood siding rotting. 

Some Common Signs of Rotted Wood Siding

Wood rot might not be immediately visible, but the following signs are strong indicators. 

1. Warping

Warping simply means your siding is cupping or bulging out. This happens when water or moisture enters your siding, causing it to swell. Warped siding isn’t only a cosmetic concern but is a potential threat to your home. When water once finds its way to your siding, it often results in wood decay and decomposition. 

2. Soft and Wet Wood

Soft and wet wood
Soft and Wet Wood

Healthy wood siding is robust and rigid – all thanks to the composition. However, when rotted or decomposed, wood siding loses its inherent durability. If you think your siding is rotted, probe it by compressing it with your hand or a screwdriver. Rotted wood siding will be soft and compressed under applied pressure. 

3. Pest Invasion

As mentioned above, pests may invade rotten siding but don’t necessarily cause it. If you find ants and pests taking shelter in your siding, that means they have found the shelter and food: the rotten wood. This is another sign of wood siding rotting at the bottom. However, this sign may not be visible from a distance. 

4. Paint Peeling 

Paint peeling
Paint Peeling

The most evident and telltale sign, and a significant cosmetic concern, is peeling, chipping, or flaking paint. Moisture intrusion and wood rot are common causes of peeling paint. If you notice that paint is chipping on the bottom of the wood siding while the rest of the boards are still painted, it could be a sign of rot. 

5. Moisture and Water Stains

The water patches on the siding can also be a sign of wood rotting. When water seeps in, it can stain the siding boards. So, if you notice moisture and water stains on your wood siding, you should inspect it for wood rot. 

How To Prevent Your Siding From Rotting At Bottom

Now that you know the most common signs of rotting wood siding, you must take the necessary measures to prevent deterioration. Note—this may also involve complete siding replacement or repair. 

1. Inspect and Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters can cause big problems for your exterior siding, particularly if they are clogged and overflowing. The overflowing water may drip down, pooling around your home’s foundation or the bottom of your siding. This pooled water around your home not only deteriorates wood siding but also may also cause more severe foundational damage. Also, this isn’t healthy for your basement. So, take some time to inspect and clean your gutters. 

Related: Is It Possible To Install New Siding Over Old Siding?

2. Clear Downspouts 


Downspouts are an essential part of your drainage system. They channel water from the gutters away from the home, preventing it from pooling around the foundation. However, if they aren’t clean or working properly, water can collect around your home, causing wood siding to rot at the bottom. Routinely clean your downspouts and prevent further siding deterioration. 

3. Install Drip Edge Flashing

Drip edge flashing
Drip Edge Flashing

Without the properly installed drip edge flashing, the water can run down the siding rather than being channeled through gutters. Drip edge flashing stops water from dripping off the roof, making it an essential roof component, yet most homeowners aren’t aware of it. 

4. Schedule Professional Inspections

If you notice signs of your wood siding rotting at the bottom, it’s a good idea to contact a professional. Before taking any step on your own, it is always best to get your siding inspected by professional installers. They can properly inspect your siding and suggest the best course of action. 

5. Regularly Clean and Maintain Your Siding

In many cases, homeowners who don’t maintain their siding end up losing it to wood decay. Therefore, we always recommend homeowners maintain their siding regularly. You should clean it, apply protective coatings or sealants, and re-paint it where the old color has chipped off. 

Contact The Home Exterior Experts In Tulsa, OK, For Your Siding Installation

If you notice signs of wood siding rotting on your home or office, it is essential to take action. Otherwise, wood rotting can turn into a significant financial burden over time, requiring extensive repairs or a complete siding replacement. If you want to protect your home from further decay, contact the experts at A. Fricker Roofing and Waterproofing in Tulsa, OK. We offer expert siding services, including repairs, replacements, and new installations. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 and consult a skilled professional.