How to Prevent Dry Rot

September 20, 2019


Dry rot damage can be difficult and expensive to deal with, and unfortunately, it’s one of the most common house problems. When left undetected or untreated, dry rot damage can cause significant damage to your home structure, inside and out. And this is something you want to avoid. If you are in doubt whether your home has been affected by dry rot, then keep reading and we will go over what dry rot is, causes of dry rot, prevention, and treatment.

If you need help repairing dry rot, contact us today and our team of dry rot specialists will be happy to help.

What is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is caused by a fungus that breaks down components of wood that make it strong and resilient. It can easily ruin any wooden structures and cause a lot of stress to any homeowner. Once affected by dry rot, wood can look darker, wrinkled, and/ or is easily broken and brittle. If the dry rot hasn’t been detected soon enough, when dry, the wood will crumble and easily fall apart. The primary cause of fungus and eventual rot is moisture presence and improper ventilation or aeration.

Below we will cover a few more steps on to help you eliminate and prevent damage by dry rot in the future.

Causes of Dry Rot 

The main cause of dry rot is moisture and a fungus, it begins growth on moist wood when there is:

  • Excessive humidity
  • Wet weather conditions
  • Possible water damage
  • Poor wood preservation
  • Constant moisture exposure

Fungi spores need specific conditions to thrive: moisture, oxygen, warm temperatures, and wood.

If not detected on time, dry rot can cause incredible and extraordinary structural and cosmetic damage.

How to Identify Dry Rot

The first step is thorough inspection and paying attention to:

  • On the exterior, look for discoloration of wood, cracking and shrinking
  • Check the window, sills, and door frames, exterior walls and roof.
  • Stains at interior walls and ceilings could indicate a leak at the roof or plumbing
  • Damaged wood is extremely soft and brittle
  • You might also be able to smell a musty odor, typically found in bathrooms, kitchens and crawlspaces
  • In the final stages, dry rot gives life to mushroom-like fungal growths on the affected wood members

Dry Rot Prevention

Since dry rot can cause significant damage to your home, it is recommended to inquire with a professional dry rot repair company to advise on the best way forward in terms of treatment and repairs.

Yes, it’s possible to prevent dry rot damage. First, try to avoid exposing wood to moisture as much as possible.

Take the following prevention steps:

  1. Siding. Siding helps to protect your house structure from moisture and other extreme weather conditions, and the siding must be of quality materials. It is extremely important to ensure that the siding and trims are sealed, caulked and painted on time to prevent moisture intrusion and penetration.
  1. Plumbing. Take care of possible plumbing issues. One of the most common reasons for dry rot are plumbing leaks. It’s a good idea to regularly check around and underneath the kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well as around toilets and shower stalls for any possible leaks and moisture presence.
  1. Ventilation. Always ensure that all rooms and areas have good quality ventilation to avoid any excessive moisture. Primary locations are the kitchen, bathrooms, the attic, and especially the crawlspace.
  1. Roofing. Ideally you need to inspect your roof regularly to identify and avoid roof leaks and damage by dry rot. Debris buildup is also a common cause of moisture issues at the roof valleys and gutters.