While every home can be unique in its own way, one of the few things that most homes have in common is the materials that were used to build them. One of these materials is the lumber that was used to build the floors, walls, and ceilings that make up the house. So when something goes wrong with wood, such as in the instance of wet or dry rot, it can threaten the very foundation upon which your home was built. Here is information on identifying and treating wet and dry rot in your home.
Wet rot is a fungus that impacts wood that that is wet. This makes the timber weak and it can begin to fragment. This fungus can then expand further into the home and infect the drywall, wallpaper, and carpets that are nearby. If wet rot is left to fester, it can eventually degrade the timber enough to become structurally unsafe.
Many things can cause excess moisture in the wood. Some of the more common causes include roofing problems, clogged gutters, plumbing leaks, and cracks in the foundation. Anything that allows the lumber to be exposed to moisture has the potential to cause wet rot.
Identifying wet rot has several challenges, the least of which is that it shares many of the same symptoms as dry rot. Some of those symptoms include timber that is darker than the pieces surrounding it, wood that is soft to the touch, a cracked appearance that can fall apart at the touch, and a musty scent. It is also possible for the timber to have shrunk or that you will be able to see fungus growing. An easy way to identify wet rot is to take a screwdriver and press it against the wood. If it goes through, you likely have wet rot.
The first step in the removal process for wet rot is to find the source of the moisture. This lets you stop the cause of the damp to prevent further infestation. If the wet rot has progressed far enough, you may need to replace the lumber, but this usually isn’t necessary. Applying a fungicide with a brush or light sprayer should help remove much of the fungus after a few treatments.
For more advanced cases of wet rot, it will be necessary to call in a removal team who can help you recover from the fungal infestation. They will be able to locate and repair the cause of the moisture, replace any timber that is beyond repair, and get your back home back in order.
The best way to fight the effects of wet rot is to prevent excess moisture from getting to the wood. One way to do this is preventative maintenance like repairing missing roofing tiles, sealing any cracks you find in the foundation, and winterizing your pipes to prevent them from bursting. Regular gutter cleaning and a dehumidifier in any areas where you have experienced moisture problems in the past can also help to prevent wet rot.
A much more pressing concern is dry rot. Like wet rot, it is a fungus that likes to attack the wood in your home. Unlike wet rot, it does not need a constant source of moisture to spread, making it much more important to identify and stop the infestation as quickly as possible. One of the most dangerous problems with dry rot is that it can even infect the masonry work around the home. Here is more on the dry rot and what you can do to stop the spread of this particularly nasty fungus.
Dry rot is caused by particles in the air that happen to find access to timber when the conditions are just right. These conditions include the wood having a moisture content of around 20% and where air can freely circulate around the lumber.
There are several markers of dry rot that will alert you to the necessity of starting treatment. The first thing that you should do is inspect the wood to view the fungus. Dry rot looks like steel wool in the early stages but can quickly start growing an outer layer that resembles skin and can resemble a mushroom. This is very easy to peel away and usually has a yellow or purplish tint. Like wet rot, one of the symptoms of dry rot is the shrinking of wood that has been exposed to the fungus. It is also possible to view water droplets on the exterior of the fungus if there is moisture present in the air. You will start to notice cracks and a darkening of the wood and you might notice a musty smell in the area near the infestation.
Like wet rot, the first step in removing dry rot is to find the source of the moisture leak and to fix the problem. You then need to determine the full extent of the growth and spread of the fungus. This may involve tearing up flooring and removing drywall depending upon the severity of the issue. Though there are treatments available if you catch the problem early, there is also the possibility that you will have to replace a significant amount of timber. These treatments include epoxy treatments, commercial-grade antifreeze, and copper compounds. If a replacement is required, you should remove all infected lumber and replace it with timber that has been pretreated. You should then apply a large amount of a dry rot treatment fluid.
The methods of prevention for dry rot are very similar to those of wet rot. You should perform regular inspections of your roofing and siding, winterize your pipes so that moisture doesn’t escape, and make sure that all rooms in your home are well ventilated. For any wood that is exposed to the elements, have it properly sealed to prevent possible problems.
If you suspect or have seen evidence of fugus and need assistance treating wet and dry rot in your home, you should immediately contact the professionals at Aloha Restoration. We have the know-how and experience to handle any home emergency restoration project. For the best fire and water recovery and mold removal in Palatine and the surrounding areas, call us today.