Sometimes it’s easy to tell when a home needs some attention—perhaps there’s a leak in the roof or the HVAC system is having issues. Other times, not-so-obvious issues are going on that can lead to serious damage if left untreated. Dry rot is one of these problems, and it can cause wood to decay, crack, and deteriorate, creating severe problems with the structure of the home.
What Is Dry Rot?
When moisture collects on a wooden surface for an extended period, this moisture and fungus break down the fibers in the wood surface, resulting in dry rot. This typically happens in poorly ventilated areas, and it only occurs when the moisture sits on the wooden surface for an extended period, so there’s no need to worry about leaks or floods that are immediately addressed and resolved. Unfortunately, dry rot often goes unnoticed when homeowners don’t spot the moisture build-up until structural repairs are required.
Spotting Dry Rot
Because dry rot isn’t always visible, homeowners should periodically check certain areas of their homes for signs of the moisture buildup, including the following:
– Window and door frames: Window sills are particularly vulnerable to dry rot since rainwater tends to collect there. Wood that’s soft to the touch or caves easily should be replaced right away. Exterior doors sometimes rot quickly since they face the elements, so all parts of the door and frame, including the very bottom, should be thoroughly inspected for soft or spongy areas.
– Roof: The roof and roofline can be inspected from the ground using a pair of binoculars and an observant eye. Discoloration below the roofline, damaged or missing shingles, and cracked seals around the chimney are all strong signs of dry rot. Homeowners who want to brave climbing on the roof should watch for weak, spongy patches in the wood.
– Deck: The deck should be inspected for dry rot from all sides, particularly the wood that attaches the deck to the home. If this piece, called the ledger board, isn’t flashed in aluminum, then it wasn’t installed correctly and is prone to moisture buildup and dry rot.
– Inside the home: There are several places in the home where moisture is most likely to accumulate, including in the bathroom around the toilet and bathtub or shower, under the dishwasher or clothes washer, and around the water heater. The bottoms of sink cabinets are also prime candidates for dry rot, so cabinets should be emptied out and thoroughly inspected. Watch for moisture, discoloration, shrinking or cracked wood, spongy areas, swelling in the floor, and musty odors.
If you live in the areas of Wilmington, Raleigh, Jacksonville, New Bern, or Fayetteville and suspect your home has dry rot or mold issues, then contact Advanced Air Solutions at (910) 791-7888 for a free estimate. Our professional contractors can inspect your home to make sure moisture stays out for good with structural repair and mold remediation services.