The Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace is currently undergoing some carpentry repairs as water intrusions have rotted the end girt on the northeast wall. Our preservation team began investigating after noticing the beginnings of a carpenter ant infestation in the home. Carpenter ants love to nest in wood softened by water. Scaffolding is currently up to conduct explorations and make repairs. As clapboards were peeled back, a significant amount of rot was discovered on the end girt (beam) between the first and second floors of the eastern elevation. Fortunately, the rot and ant infestations were discovered before the structure was fully compromised, and a minimally intrusive approach can be taken to repair the rotted posts and studs which were resting on the girt.
We removed as few clapboards as possible while still being able to access the pockets of rot within the beam. The rot is being carefully removed, leaving as much of the original material in place as was safe to do so. The areas of rot will then be reinforced before the clapboards are replaced in kind, leaving the exterior looking just as it did before the rot was discovered.