We hear a lot about mold and mildew damage to your home’s structure, but a problem that is just as damaging, if not worse is dry rot. Dry rot is caused by a species of fungi, called Serpula lacrymans. Compared with mold and other wood-rotting fungi, dry rot doesn’t need much moisture. According to Ohio State University, 10% of the wood produced in the United States every year is used to replace or repair wood damaged by wood rot.
Many times people think that their wood is being destroyed by termites or ants, but in reality, these pests are just attracted to the wood suffering from dry rot. Between the rot and the pests, your wooden structures are severely weakened. A study by Forest Products Laboratory states that the strength of wood is decreased by up to 75% with just a 1% loss in the wood’s weight. It’s easy to see why just a small amount of dry rot can severely impact your home’s stability.
Dry rot often looks like a termite infestation, but there are some telltale signs to look for:
Dry rot fungus spores are hearty and very adaptive. They can remain dormant for several years until the environment is ideal for growth. The fungus can also draw moisture from moisture in other parts of the house. It can come through different materials to attack wood. Some materials we’ve seen it grow through include, masonry, plaster and concrete. It’s a tough fungus, but it’s not unstoppable. You can control the spread of dry rot by controlling moisture and applying treatments, such as boric acid.
You can’t just clean up dry rot and be done with it, there are several steps to removing the fungus and repairing your home. First, you need to make sure your basement or crawlspace is waterproofed. Then it is necessary to remove all the wood that is infected, as well as all wood within 3 feet of the damage. Next, any materials where the fungus could be hiding need to be removed from the home, also. This includes paneling, drywall, and ceilings. Our mold experts will clean and disinfect the area and then our team of builders will replace the wood that was damaged by the fungus.
There are some kinds of wood out there that are naturally resistant to dry rot, including cedar, teak, oak and redwood. Some of the most popular types of wood are not resistant and are pine, maple, elm and more.
The sooner you contact us for a free inspection, the sooner we can begin restoring your home’s stability. Dry rot is something you want to get under control fairly quickly, the longer you let it go, the more damage it can cause and the more wood that will have to be replaced. If it is left unchecked for too long, wooden supports can collapse, leading to more catastrophic damage.
Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing Services can keep your home dry, helping to reduce the chances of fungi like dry rot of occurring. We can assist with waterproofing and foundation repair. Give us a call today and let us help you keep your home stable and your family safe.