If you own your home and you notice some damage to your wood, it could indicate a serious problem with dry rot or wet rot. If you have dry rot in your home, but there are no visible signs, you should have a professional inspect your property for dry rot.
Dry Rot (and wet rot) are types of fungus that destroy wood. If left untreated, it can do serious damage to your home. While you may have heard of dry rot and wet rot, you may not have known that both of them are types of fungus. They attack wood in different ways, but both have the same goal, to destroy wood.
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Let’s discuss how to recognize the warning signs of dry rot and wet rot and what you can do about it. Let’s also look at the preventative measures you can take as a homeowner to protect your home from these types of fungus.
What is Dry Rot?
Dry rot is a kind of wood degradation caused by a fungus that consumes the components of the wood. It was once used to characterize any fungus-caused rot of cured wood in ships and structures, resulting in a darkly colored, degraded, and cracked state.
Dry rot is also known as “serpula lacrymans” that can harm both hard and soft woods by eliminating moisture (thus the name) as it goes by simply eating the wood and transporting the water away.
In addition, dry rot is the most dangerous type of fungal degradation, and it is incredibly destructive, spreading through brickwork and destroying any wood in its path, particularly structural timbers, skirting boards, door frames, and flooring.
It affects all sorts of structures, both new and old, and if left untreated, it may be harmful to a property since the fungus can impair a building’s structural integrity and lead it to collapse.
How Do I Know I Have Dry Rot?
When moisture becomes trapped in the wood, it can’t dry out, causing dry rot. Even though the wood looks fine on the exterior, water can pass through it and cause dry rot.
It’s critical to determine if dry rot or another type of wood-destroying fungus (such as wet rot), is to blame for the destruction. Since dry rot may pass through construction materials other than wood, outbreaks can unfortunately spread swiftly across a structure.
Look for discoloration in the wood (usually a deeper brown), cuboidal (square or rectangular) fissures, red dust in the region, and a musty, moldy stench. Dry rot can also hide under painted surfaces, so look for locations where the wood seems sunken in or shriveled behind the paint.
Because the fungus robs the wood of moisture, it shrinks and occasionally develops a white cotton ball-like fuzz. In humid circumstances, symptoms of a mushy fungus or orange-colored mycelium might appear.
If the prong of a metal ice pick or a tiny screwdriver can easily puncture the wood, dry rot may be present if the wood seems softer than typical.
How Do I Control Dry Rot-Affected Wood?
Only wet wood is affected by dry rot, which commonly affects wood with a moisture level of more than 20%. As a result, eliminating the source of moisture should be at the heart of any dry rot eradication plan.
The dry rot can be controlled if the cause of the moisture is corrected and the wood is allowed to dry out thoroughly. As an added precaution, make sure the space is sufficiently aired and that a dehumidifier is used to eliminate all moisture and prevent development.
However, ensuring that the wood would keep dry in the long run is not always practicable or practical. As a result, it’s critical to take additional precautions to protect against re-infection.
Any logs that have been impacted should be removed and replaced with pre-treated lumber. Any remaining wood susceptible to dry rot should be sprayed with an appropriate fungicide.
Physical confinement and masonry sterilization should isolate dry rot that has gone through the masonry.
How Do I Prevent Dry Rot From Affecting My Home?
It is critical to seal and paint wood to prevent moisture from penetrating your home. A sealer coat, often known as a wash coat, can be applied to both stained and unstained wood, and its goal is to keep water and moisture out of the wood pores.
The sealer also provides a smooth, level surface, which is beneficial to applying a varnish coating. Several wood sealants are available at your local hardware store, but brush-on and spray-on sealants are the most frequent.
Apply the sealer briskly along the grain with a broad brush. Spray-on sealer should be used similarly: fast along the grain. Work quickly since the sealer dries quickly.
Wood coloring differs from sealing. Wood staining alters its appearance but only protects it from moisture. Wet rot and dry rot can destroy wood. Any contaminated wood should be replaced as soon as possible.
A Final Word On Dealing With Dry Rot (in Your South Placer County and Sacramento County Home)?
Because of the proximity to coastal areas, homes in and around South Placer County and Sacramento County are susceptible to dry rot infestations.
The most common places to find dry rot are in the basement, the attic, and any wood that is on the ground level. The best way to stop the growth of dry rot is to fix any leaks and to make sure your home stays well ventilated. Dry rot (and wet rot) are particularly common in homes that are old and were built with wood that was untreated.
While it is easy to say that a home has dry rot, it’s not always that simple. If you think your home has dry rot, you should have it inspected by a qualified professional.
If you think you have a problem with dry rot, give our team over at Rocklin Pest Control a call. We’ve been servicing residences and commercial properties in and around South Placer County and Sacramento County for well over 30 years now. Contact us today at (916) 943-7720.