Dry Rot / Wet Rot Damage
Dry Rot In A Crawlspace
Dry Rot and Wet Rot Damage is commonly overlooked due to the fact that it is mostly found in the crawlspace of your home. The crawlspace is rarely visited until home owners start to notice issues with their floor bouncing or sagging, or in a really bad case where the floor is separating from the bottom of the wall. When it gets to the point of floors dropping, that is a strong indication that there are major structural problems in the crawlspace. Click Here for Dry Rot pictures!
Understanding Dry Rot And Wet Rot :
Dry rot also known as wood decay, brown rot, brown rot decay. Dry rot is a fungi that attacks the hemicellulose and cellulose fibers in lumber. These fibers give the lumber the strength it needs. The fungus will spread using airborne spores which will eventually make its way to structural components. A very common place for this to happen is the crawlspace. A crawlspace can have the perfect mixture of temperature, and moisture for the fungus to thrive. Dry rot requires at least 25 percent to 30 percent moisture content in lumber, along with temperatures of around 70 to 78 degrees. Wet rot is very similar fungi except it requires a higher moisture content of around 50 percent and higher.
This is common when there is no moisture barrier and ground water. If you look in the crawlspace and the dirt looks dry, just lay a piece of plastic down and come back a week later. When you remove the plastic you will see how wet the dirt is. If its mud or has standing water, that shows you how much moisture is going to the structural lumber in the crawlspace. That is one sign you could have dry rot either starting or all ready present.
Dry Rot / Wet Rot boards can often appear as a darken board that is dirty or older looking. When it gets to later stages it can appear as the board has dried out and decreasing in size. Due to mold preferring a similar climate, its presents can make it hard to see the fragile boards decreasing in size.
When it comes to this type of damage, it is required to remove all boards that are destroyed from the fungi. Their structural integrity is compromised. If the boards have very little damage they can be sistered. This will add strength to the framing components underneath the floor. This require’s a professional to determine if they are structurally sound enough to sister to. If you would like a free inspection click here!
Preventive Maintenance :
- Check the perimeter of the house to make sure the ground has adequate drainage away from the home.
- Make sure there are no leaks in the plumbing system as well as the HVAC drain pan.
- Make sure the insulation is properly sealed around the HVAC ducts. This will make sure they do not sweat in the summer months. As this will cause moisture.
- Make sure you have a proper vapor barrier. It should cover the entire crawlspace to prevent moisture from coming out of the ground.