Dry Rot Basics

What is it? Dry rot is a phenomenon that can impact all varieties of wood.  When this fungus spreads throughout the interior of wood, it becomes weak and will start breaking apart.  When dry rot
occurs in a building, the structural integrity often becomes compromised.

What are signs of dry rot?  Dry rot is such a nuisance because the early stages are difficult to identify to the untrained eye.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that it can vary in appearance. Identifiers include darkened or shrunken wood.  Coloring is typically off-white or gray.  Wood affected by dry rot will shrink and crack.  It becomes soft to the touch and warp.

How does it spread?  Dry rot is fed by moisture inside the wood and in order for it to spread; it needs a source of moisture.  Because dry rot causes the affected wood to crumble and separate from the unaffected wood, the unaffected wood becomes exposed and soon becomes infected.

Why does it happen?  There are lots of occurrences that result in dry rot, though most have to do with proper management in the home.  Clogged or broken gutters and downspouts can increase the likelihood of dry rot, as can improper flashing on your roof and around your chimney.  Inadequate ventilation can also contribute to dry rot.  It’s a common misconception that dry rot only occurs in older buildings.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, if siding isn’t installed correctly and water is able to permeate through the siding, it’s only a matter of time before thousands of dollars of damage is caused.  For this reason, it’s crucial to work with a reputable licensed and insured company who know what they’re doing and is willing to stand behind the work they perform.

How do you eradicate? Full eradication of dry rot is crucial because failure to do so can result in it reappearing.  The only way to kill dry rot is to kill its source of moisture.  Once this has been accomplished, the affected areas must be dried completely.  From there, the fungus that caused the dry rot must be treated.  The final step is repairing the damage.  This process should be completed by a licensed professional who can effectively determine the full extent of the dry rot.  Failure to fully complete any of the steps listed above can result in the dry rot manifesting itself once again.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard is a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.  Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.