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Check Your Home for Dry Rot this Winter Season

IMG: cracks in stucco caused significant dry rot damage from water leaking in.

Check Your Home for Dry Rot this Winter Season

While the wet winters and cold temperatures provide much needed snow and rainfall across California, for some homes it can cause significant damage to the structure including dry rot. Dry rot is one of the most common damages caused by winter weather. If you are a homeowner with any type of wood built in the structure of your home, take the time to look for signs of dry rot this winter. 

The Root of Dry Rot 

Dry rot, also known as brown rot, refers to the wood decay that is essentially caused by fungi that can easily ruin any wooden structures. When wood is continuously exposed to moisture, whether that be from rain, sprinklers, or a leak, it slowly forms this destructive fungus that spreads like a disease, even wood that comes in contact with it. As a result, the damaged wood becomes rotten and weak. Dry rot can appear in areas such as decks, roofs, doors, windows, siding and trim.

Spotting the Rot 

Here are some ways to help identify dry rot throughout your home.

Inspect the wood for any discoloration specifically any darkening areas 

Check for any shrinking, cracking or sunken wood

Smelly odors, typically found in bathrooms or kitchens

In some cases, affected wood could also have a mushroom-like fungal growths

Dry Rot Prevention

Prevent dry rot damage in your home and do your part to limit exposure of wood in your home as much as possible. 

Here are some steps you can take to prevent dry rot damage and protect your home:

Siding: If you have wood siding, make sure it is sealed, caulked properly and painted on time to prevent any moisture seeping in

Plumbing: Plumbing leaks are a common cause for dry rot, so if you notice a plumbing issue, take care of it right away. When checking your bathroom and sink areas, inspect around and underneath any cabinets, toilets and showers for signs of leaks or excessive moisture.

Ventilation: Having the proper ventilation throughout your home is essential to removing excess moisture from the air. Areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms, attic and crawlspace are especially important.

Roofing: Regularly inspect your roof throughout the year to avoid dry rot, water damage or mold. Prevent damage by installing gutters to control the rainfall or clean up any debris.

Deck: If you have a deck, make sure it is properly sealed.

Landscaping: Check your lawn sprinklers regularly to ensure it sprays on your lawn and not on your home’s exterior trim. Repair or reposition any damaged sprinklers to avoid damages in the long run. 

IMG: siding and frame damaged by dry rot

Treating Dry Rot

If you find any dry rot damage in your home, save yourself time and money and treat it right away. Depending on the level of damage, the treatment will vary. In some cases, the infected area can be treated with a fungicide, which is a pesticide chemical used to kill or prevent the growth of fungi and their spores. This treatment not only kills the rot, but it strengthens the wood’s structure too. Other cases might require the complete removal of any affected wood. However, since dry rot is a unique damage that spreads like a disease, it could now be present around the surfaces or any surrounding wood. Because of this, it is best to treat all surrounding areas to prevent further damage, including any new wood that is replacing the old wood.

The rapid spread of dry rot can lead to a spiral of damages to your home, so do your best to maintain your home all year. If you notice any signs of dry rot or you are unsure of how to treat it, call a local professional to help inspect your home. Assess the problem early to protect your home and save you money on additional repairs. 

Good Life Construction specializes in dry rot repair serving homeowners and residents across the Sacramento region. If you would like our skilled professionals to check the condition of your home or you are in need of dry rot repairs, we are here to help. For a quote or inspection information, call us today at (916) 833-1379 or visit our website at www.GoodLifeConstruction.com for more details.

IMG: Sub floor affected by dry rot

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