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Homeownership is part of the American Dream, but it’s not without its downsides. Most homeowners wish they never had to contend with pests, repairs, and maintenance. In addition to these threats, some property owners also face the risk of dry rot. At North American Home Services, we provide all types of inspections, and we’ve seen a lot of dry rot. For this reason, we want to share how to prevent it.
What Is Dry Rot?
Have you ever heard of wood-destroying organisms (WDO)? Certain types of fungi cause dry rot. They eat the cellulose components of wood that give it strength and durability. Cellulose digestion increases the fungi and allows them to spread. As a result, the wood in your home becomes dry and brittle, which makes it vulnerable. However, it’s important to note that dry rot can spread over brick, plaster, and mortar, too.
What Items Are Prone to Dry Rot?
As the term suggests, WDOs destroy wood. Therefore, nearly anything in or part of the home containing wood carries some risk. As you can imagine, wood beams, frames, and plywood all fall victim to dry rot. At the same time, it also occurs in the roof, on door and window frames (especially if exposed to rain and moisture), and on skylights. It can also grow in and on cupboards inside the home. Because fungi love moist, dark spaces, dry rot often begins in basement areas or on the exterior where no protection exists.
What Is the Risk of Dry Rot?
Any place in the home where there is excessive moisture and water collection can fall victim to dry rot. Dry rot presents a severe risk to homeowners because it can lead to structural integrity issues. You may notice deep cracks in the wood, a yellow or even lilac-colored growth, and a heavy mushroom smell. On the other hand, once you see these signs, the fungi growth may be prolific. If you suspect dry rot at all, we encourage you to get an inspection.
How Do I Prevent Dry Rot?
Homeowners can take several steps to prevent dry rot in the home.
- Clean drains and downspouts regularly.
- Make sure to ventilate crawlspaces.
- Seal basement floors.
- Get a roof inspection to ensure flashing and all elements drain correctly.
- Inspect windows and doors during a home inspection. Keep wood siding and trims off the ground and away from the roof and masonry.
- Maintain paint and caulking
- Separate wood siding from the roof and masonry.
- Keep drains and downspouts clear.
Need an Inspection?
Dry rot presents a severe risk to homeowners. If you suspect your Sacramento home might be at risk, contact North American Home Services at (916) 481-0268 to schedule an inspection with one of our InterNACHI®-certified roof inspectors. We also serve the surrounding areas! Of course, you can also schedule an inspection online.