Dry rot, also "brown rot" or "wood rot" is one of the most damaging forces of household wood in the world.
Despite its name, dry rot wood needs moisture to produce spores. Wood rot problems show up in basements and crawl spaces where water and humidity are issues.
An outbreak of dry rot commonly occurs several months after a water event, such as flooding, bursting washing machine hoses, a failed water heater, or leaking pipes.
An indication that your home has an issue with dry rot is the appearance of a "red brick dust," fungal spores that are waiting for the proper conditions to start to grow.
Architect's Journal reports that dry rot can grow through damp mortar, concrete, masonry and behind plaster. This makes dry rot damage repair complicated and expensive. And, it can lead to future problems if the wood rot treatment isn't properly performed.
The best way to repair wood rot is to prevent it in the first place. This can be solved by controlling moisture by sealing and dehumidifying the space. Thrasher Foundation Repair uses a combination of vapor barrier or crawl space liner with a self-draining dehumidifier, to remove unwanted moisture and prevent future incursions.
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Cracked foundations, leaky basements and mildewy crawlspaces are often serious problems that shouldn't be ignored. If you feel you've put your repair project off long enough, financing can help you get it done now instead of later. It's not worth gambling with the investment you've made in your home!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Remove Damaged Wood: All wood that shows decay or visible fungus should be removed.
- Remove Materials Near Damage: Plaster, paneling, linings, and ceilings around the dry rot areas should also be removed.
- Wire brush Affected Area: Using a wire brush, loose material is removed from all surfaces including metal, masonry, and pipes. Resulting dust and debris is removed as well.
- Disinfect area: A disinfectant is applied to all wood, masonry, and exposed soil.
- Rebuild: Substantially rot-damaged beams, joists, and posts are replaced with pressure-treated wood.
Likely any wood that has damage from dry rot needs to be replaced. In fact, there is up to a 75% loss in the toughness of the wood with just a 1% decrease in the weight of the wood.
It really depends on the amount of the damage. But factoring in the deconstruction, the replacement of the damaged wood, clean-up of affected areas, and whether you do-it-yourself or hire professionals, the cost of repairing wood rot, can be significant.
It can lead to future problems with dry rot if it is not treated properly. It will not get better on its own.
The short answer is, "Yes, but..." If you remove previously damaged wood and other materials, remove the source of moisture and humidity and treat the remaining wood with a chemical the hinders the growth of wood rot, you may stop the growth of further rot.
Probably not. Wood damaged by wood rot is not salvageable and should be replaced as soon as possible to keep the rot from spreading.