Ask A Contractor Series

Customer Asks: What is dry rot and what should I do about it?

310 831-6310Answer: Basically it’s a moisture seeking fungi. (Fungi are an organism that lives by decomposing and absorbing the organic material in which they grow. Things like mushrooms, mold, and mildew.)
Dry rot usually results from too much moisture in contact with wood. (28%-30% moisture content)
The dry rot fungus has the unusual ability to transport water from wet areas to dry areas allowing the fungus to grow even in relatively dry wood. If not stopped the dry rot fungus will so weaken wood that it may eventually disintegrate.
So what do you do about it? How you prevent dry rot damage is to reduce or eliminate excess moisture. It can be as simple as repairing a leaky pipe or as complicated as stopping water infiltration through a foundation wall or redirect the sprinkler heads away from and exterior wall. A common cause of dry rot and termite damage is wood in contact with soil as occurs, for example, with a failed foundation.
Here is a pretty common three step process to treating or preventing dry rot: Step 1 Find out what the source of the moisture is and handle it. Step 2 is to replace any damaged wood that has become structurally weakened. Step 3 There are a few wood preservatives on the market used to treat new and existing wood. One is a borate wood preservative to prevent growth of the dry rot fungus and kill any fungus already in the wood.
Hope that helps,
Dave Silva

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