Differences Between Types of Wood Rot
Both dry and wet rot are forms of fungal decay that permeate wooden structures exposed to water damage. Both can destroy buildings and houses, and depending on the severity they may also be dangerous to your health. The main difference between the two types of rot is that dry rot spreads whereas wet rot festers where the moisture is located.
Identifying Dry Rot
Dry rot is a type of fungal decay that grows when moist timber meets the spores of Serpula lacrymans. Areas that experience high humidity are more susceptible to dry rot; it only takes 20 percent moisture for timber to begin to decay (Carter). Ways to identify dry rot include the following signs:
- Soft and spongy wood
- Musty smell
- Shrinking and cracking wood
- Damaged paint finish
- Brown or yellow discoloration
- Appearance of mushrooms
- Red or orange spore dust
Dry Rot with white “hyphae” fungus and mold growth due to high humidity.
Identifying Wet Rot
Wet rot occurs in areas where timber is exposed to a lot of water. It takes 50 percent moisture content (“How To: Identify and Treat Dry Rot and Wet Rot”) combined with fungal spores, known as Coniophora puteana, to produce this sort of growth. Wet rot is less common than dry rot because it’s easier to prevent, but wet rot can appear quickly. It’s a good practice to not have pools of water sitting around your home to help prevent this issue.
Some signs of wet rot are similar to those of dry rot. Common signs you’ve invited wet rot into your home include:
- Musty smell
- Discoloration of the wood
- Black, brown or white fungus
- Cracked timber
- Spongy texture
- Damaged paint finish
Localized water damage near exterior roof drain causing mold growth due to leaking water.
Places You’ll Find Wood Rot
Both types of wood rot grow in damp environments, but since different amounts of moisture cause them, you may be more at risk for one or the other depending on your situation. It’s important to know where each type of rot is most likely to occur so that you can take steps to prevent it.
Where Dry Rot Grows
Since it only takes 20 percent (“Dry Rot – Causes, Identification & Solution”) moisture content for dry rot to develop and spread, it can grow anywhere. The most common places to watch for it include basements, bathrooms, roofs, siding and around windows. Any area that doesn’t receive good ventilation is at risk for dry rot, so you should clean those spaces regularly. Further, exterior elements that encounter a lot of rain and stay moist for too long can also develop mold. It’s good to keep an eye on those areas and give them routine maintenance cleanings as well.
Crumbly and brittle timber caused by dry wood rot.
Where Wet Rot Grows
When a lot of water sits on timber over a period of time, mold may start to grow. Additional structural damage is often the cause of the high amount of water that allows wet rot to develop. Your home might have leaking pipes or a hole in the roof that is regularly letting water seep in. Wet rot only develops where there is water present, so be on the lookout for localized soft pockets around water outlets, rain damage prone areas, and near pipes.
Wet rot on ceiling and wall from water leak.
How To Get Rid of Wood Rot
No one wants to live with mold in or around their home. It doesn’t look good but it can also be harmful to breathe in. Once you identify that it’s in your home, the next step is to get rid of it. Though there are different types of fungus, you’ll use similar treatment methods from professionals.
Treating Dry Rot
Dry rot can’t simply be washed away; The affected area has to be removed. Trust a team of specialists to inspect your home for this mold and uncover ways to remove and prevent it. Siding experts can find the source of moisture causing the rot, remove the timber that’s infected, replace the damaged wood and use fungicides or other chemical treatments to stop any further growth.
Treating Wet Rot
Similar to treating dry rot, wet rot won’t disappear if you try to scrub it away. After finding the source of the fungus, any infected wood needs to be removed and replaced. The surrounding area will then need to be treated with a preservative to prevent mold from forming again. Sister Siding can take care of this job for you, not only because we have the proper tools, but we can also make sure you aren’t inhaling toxins or misidentifying the source of moisture. After all, mold isn’t something you should take lightly or try to eliminate without the proper experience.