Dry rot, also called brown rot, is wood decay stemming from fungal growth, which can destroy all kinds of wooden structures. When it sets in, the fungi break down the two crucial components behind wood’s strength and resilience, namely, cellulose and hemicellulose. The effect is weakening of the wood and a stumpy look. Dry rot will only damage timber that is damp, with north of 20% moisture content. Hence, to solve dry rot, the source of moisture must be totally removed.
How Dry Rot Proliferates
The dry rot fungus creates spores that air spreads around. They reproduce as soon as they settle on moist wood, and unless this is stopped, the wood will weaken over time until such time that it actually disintegrates.
Detecting Dry Rot
> Examine the wood. Initially, fungus will resemble cotton wool, and in a highly humid environment, you may find surface water droplets as well.
> See if there are areas on the wood that seem to have shrunk, darkened, sunken or cracked, or growths that resemble a mushroom’s outer skin.
How to Avoid Dry Rot
Preventing dry rot is rather simple. Just keep wood away from moisture with the following steps:Make sure wood is out of moisture’s way by doing these steps:Don’t expose wood to moisture, and these steps will help you do that:
Siding – Hire a skilled siding installer to make sure wood siding is well sealed and installed.
Painting – Before painting wood to be used outdoor, a primer should be applied Painting – Wood used outdoor should be primed on each of the six sides before it is painted.
Roofing – Your roof should be inspected at least annually to address potential problems such as dry rot and water damage. To protect your home’s foundation and walls, make sure you have gutters installed that will direct rainwater away.
Plumbing – Plumbing leaks are the leading cause of dry rot. Look underneath vanities cabinets, etc., if you find dry rot, get it fixed ASAP.
Ventilation – Install proper ventilation in your kitchen, bathrooms and the like to eliminate remove excess moisture from the air.
Deck – Your deck should be well-sealed. When building a new deck, design it with a slight slope.
Landscaping – Your lawn sprinklers should face away from your exterior trim.
How to Treat Dry Rot
There are a few ways to eliminate dry rot, like using copper compounds or epoxy. However, be aware that expert knowledge will be needed to make sure the job is done correctly. Doing the job wrong can be costly, which is why most people hire a dry rot repair contractor. But of course, as not all of these pros are created equal on many aspects – pricing, level of expertise, even personality – you need to do your homework before picking someone.