How to Recognize Signs of Dry Rot in Your Home, & How to Fix It
April 30, 2016
April 30, 2016
Most homeowners have seen “dry rot” – a condition where wooden siding, beams, and other wooden parts of a house become weak and brittle – but many don’t understand the causes of dry rot, or how to protect against it.
Dry rot is caused by a wood-destroying fungus that can move through other materials, enabling it to reach protected wood as well as wood exposed to the elements. Despite its name, dry rot actually requires a significant amount of moisture (in the wood) to establish itself, and is most common in wet or humid environments, both inside and outside the home. The fungus can cause significant structural damage if allowed to spread unchecked, and recognizing dry rot early can avoid thousands of dollars in costly repairs.
Here are some common signs of dry rot infestation in wooden surfaces:
- Damp, Musty Odors. Dry rot occurs most commonly in wet or humid areas, because the dry rot fungus requires a damp environment to thrive. Damp or musty odors emanating from wooden surfaces can indicate fungal growth.
- Brown, red, or grey “skin” on wooden surfaces (with or without thread-like strand or fiber growth). If you notice anything growing on the wooden portions of your home, especially growths that look like mold, mushroomsor “skin,” contact a dry rot expert immediately.
- Shrunken, cracked, or darkened wood. If wooden surfaces inside or outside your home begin to look unusual, especially if the wood appears shrunken or darkened, dry rot may be present.
If you notice any of these symptoms, or suspect dry rot has invaded your home, consult an expert immediately. Delay will only make the condition worse. Experts may use some or all of these methods to help eliminate the fungus and fix your home:
- Treating impacted boards with fungicides. Only certain fungicides work on dry rot, but the effective ones kill the fungus and stop further damage. Fungicidal treatments are most effective in the early phases of dry rot infestations.
- Removal of affected wood and replacement with pre-treated boards.Once dry rot impacts the integrity of siding or other wooden structures, stopping the fungus requires removal of the impacted wood, which will normally be replaced with boards pre-treated with anti-dry rot fungicides.
- Masonry sterilization. Where evidence suggests the dry rot fungus passed through other building materials to reach the impacted wooden area, experts may recommend sterilization of masonry and other non-wooden materials to help prevent the fungus from returning.
Dry rot can also reduce the selling price of a home—sometimes significantly—because buyers normally expect the seller to pay to repair any dry rot discovered during the escrow and inspection process. Sellers who want to avoid this expense should consider selling the house directly to an investor, like 4 Brothers Buy Houses, instead. 4 Brothers Buy Houses will purchase your home in any condition, and won’t reduce the price after the offer is accepted if the house has dry rot issues.Click here for more information, or to request a free quote today.