Finding dry rot can be overwhelming and devastating. Rest assured that with proper prevention and early detection, Seattle homes can be saved from the growth of dry rot fungus. Staying on top of water, moisture, and humidity in your home, as well as treating problems early and thoroughly with Seattle dry rot repair, can keep your home in tip-top shape.

What Is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is when wood becomes decayed due to a fungus that can attack any piece of timber in the home. The fungi cause dry rot to break down the hemicellulose and cellulose, which is what gives wood its resilience and strength. The wood then becomes brittle and weak. Dry rot can only affect wood that has become damp due to moisture and humidity. Preventing any source of humidity or moisture in your home will help prevent dry rot. The following tips will help you prevent dry rot and fungus from growing on the wood in your home.

Preventing Dry Rot in Your Seattle Home

Preventing dry rot from affecting a Seattle home is pretty straightforward. You need to limit the exposure of your home’s wood from receiving too much moisture. You can help prevent dry rot by taking the following preventative measures:

  • Landscaping: When planning out your lawn sprinkler system, you want to ensure it is not spraying onto the home’s exterior trim. When watering plants or bushes near the home, you can water at the roots to avoid spraying the wood directly.
  • Deck: Properly sealing the wood on your deck can help prevent water from reaching the surface of the wood. If you plan on installing a new deck, installing it with a slight slope will help the water drip off the wood more easily.
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation in your kitchen, attic, and bathrooms will help remove any excess moisture from those areas. 
  • Plumbing: Plumbing leaks often lead to dry rot fungus growth. Checking often underneath cabinets and vanities and around toilets for leaks can catch water damage early on. If you find any leak, no matter the severity, repair the leak immediately and treat the wood to prevent dry rot.
  • Roofing: Once a year, head to your roof to check for any potential dry rot, mold, or water damage. If you are unable to do so yourself, hire a professional who knows what to look for. Installing gutters to redirect rainwater away from your home and foundation will help keep wood dry.
  • Painting: If you are painting any outdoor wood, it is important to prime all six sides before applying any coat of paint.
  • Siding: If you have wood shingle siding, be sure to have it properly sealed and installed by someone knowledgeable in installing this type of siding.
Photo of Dry Rot on Old Wood

Can Dry Rot Spread?

Like mold, the fungus that causes dry rot produces spores that can spread through the air. The spores then land on wood in the area and can germinate if there is a high moisture content in the wood. A few things can cause this high level of moisture. If the timber was not kiln-dried properly before being purchased for construction, it may have too high a moisture level. 

Even if the wood was dried correctly before being used for construction, if the wood is in a part of the home with high humidity, it can absorb the extra moisture, allowing dry rot to occur. This can be in locations such as a kitchen, basement, or crawl space. Lastly, if the wood has been exposed to direct contact with water, such as from flooding or a burst pipe, and it was not dried properly, the wood will retain the moisture.

In order for dry rot to spread and for the spores to grow, it requires moisture, a food source (wood), airflow (oxygen), and warmer temperatures ranging from 70-80 degrees. If not caught and repaired or replaced, dry rot can weaken wooden structures to the point of disintegration.

How Can I Identify Rot in My Seattle Home?

In order to treat dry rot in your home, you must be able to identify the damage. Some homeowners identify or notice dry rot right away, but oftentimes, it is completely missed or goes unnoticed due to the location within the home. Some key identifying features of dry rot fungus include the following:

  • A cotton wool-like appearance on the wood with or without water droplets on the surface (if there is humidity in the surroundings)
  • The wood appears shrunken or sunken down
  • The wood structure has cracks or darkening along the grain
  • The wood may have a flat skin-like growth that resembles the outer parts of a mushroom with grey and silver shades and may have yellow or light purple patterned patches.

Despite Prevention, My Seattle Home Has Dry Rot, Can GotRot Help?

The professional technicians at GotRot can help you remedy any dry rot fungus you have found in your home by:

  • Identifying the severity and extent of the dry rot fungus and determining which treatment plan is best for your specific circumstances.
  • Removing the dry rot-affected wood and replacing it with new wood that has been pressure-treated or treated with preservatives.
  • Applying a fungicide to the repaired and remaining wood to kill off any fungus spores for prevention of further spreading.
  • Finding and fixing the source of moisture in your home that is causing the dry rot. Moisture can come from high humidity, poor ventilation, and water leaks.
  • Identifying cracks or gaps in the wood and filling them with an epoxy resin to help restore strength and stability and help prevent additional moisture from seeping into the wood.
  • Sanding the applied epoxy so that the wood is flush and paint can be applied if desired. 

Contact the Rot Experts Today

Hiring one of our Seattle experts from GotRot can save you the money, time, and hassle of dealing with potential dry rot in your home. If, despite your best prevention efforts, you think you have dry rot, contact one of our experts today to help!

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