Wood rot occurs in both the interior and exterior of the home, and can become a major
hazard if left untreated. There are two kinds of wood rot – dry and wet, and we see both here in New Hampshire. While both types of rot are caused by a fungus, the main differences between the two are the type of fungus, the moisture content that allows them to flourish, and the cause of the rot. Because dry rot and wet rot are different fungi, they require different kinds of treatment, and our siding contractors are experts on both. It is important to have a contractor with years of experience in rot repair identify which type of rot is deteriorating your wood because ignoring the first signs of water damage can lead to devastating damages to your home.
The professional contractors at Sakin Home have been identifying, removing and preventing future wood rot damage for over 20 years throughout Meredith, Holderness, Waterville Valley and Lincoln, New Hampshire. Please contact us to discuss your concerns about wood rot damaging your property. Catching it early may also mean replacing a board or two rather than doing a major construction job.
WHAT IS DRY WOOD ROT:
Serpula Lacrymans is the name of the fungus that causes dry wood rot, and it’s the most aggressive and destructive form of fungal decay in buildings because it spreads away from the source of damp and destroys other property fabric. Dry rot spores exist in the air and become a problem when they come into contact with damp timber that has a moisture content over 20% in poorly ventilated conditions. The fungus can then spread without any source of moisture because it generates its own moisture as it digests the timber. As it spreads, it can severely damage the structural integrity of the building.
HOW TO SPOT DRY WOOD ROT:
Areas with moisture around your home with poor ventilation are often susceptible to dry wood rot. Look in areas of your home where there is a water source.
Inside your home, check an unvented attic space, damp basement/crawl space or areas where there may be a leaky pipe. You’ll also want to check the floor around your tub and toilet and rim joists. One early warning sign is condensation on the windows or drywall that is water stained
You are looking for some discoloration, or the material may not feel structurally sound. You may notice a damp or musty smell, or deep cracks in the timber grain. You’ll definitely notice rot if the timber is decaying or brittle, or see patches of orange-brown spore dust. If left unchecked, you’ll see fruiting bodies that look like large mushrooms.
Outside the house, check damaged gutters, wooden window sills, the deck, and anywhere water runs off the roof along a wall. You should definitely check the roof if you’ve had a leak in the home. Look for cracking, splits and discoloration, which may indicate the presence of wood rot.
WHAT IS WET WOOD ROT:
Wet rot is caused by a fungus that thrives in very damp wood and feeds off the timber. If the moisture content of the timber reaches around 50%, any unprotected wood in/on your property is at risk for an infestation. While there are many different types of fungus that cause wet rot, Coniophora Puteana is the most common. Wet wood rot is usually caused by a leak or construction defect, exposing wood to water. Some of the more common causes are clogged gutters, leaks in the plumbing, cracks in the foundation and roofing problems. Unlike dry rot that will spread through the rest of the fabric of the home, wet rot will stay contained to the damp source. However, do not underestimate wet rot. If left untreated wet wood rot can cause major structural problems. If you discover wet rot, you should find the source of the water and have the leak repaired before treating the rot itself to prevent recurrence. Once the moisture is removed, wet rot will stop growing.
HOW TO SPOT WET WOOD ROT::
Check for leaks or sources of water both inside and outside the home. Pay attention to damaged paint finish – the surface might seem okay, but have wood rot behind. You may also notice a damp/musty smell, softened timber that may be discolored, or black-brown fungal growths. An easy way to identify wet rot is to take a screwdriver and press it into the wood. If it goes through, you likely have wet rot.
With both dry and wet wood rot, it is imperative to determine the water source causing the rot. That needs to be fixed in order to prevent future damage. Our experienced rot repair contractors at Sakin Home can give you ideas and provide solutions to repair the issue. Contact us and we can determine the full extent of the rot damage. Generally we need to remove some of the flooring or drywall to determine the severity of the issue. Once it’s opened up, we can eradicate the damage and restore your home.