Dry Rot / Wet Rot Damage
Dry Rot In A Crawlspace
Dry Rot and Wet Rot Damage are commonly overlooked because they are mainly found in your home’s crawlspace. The crawlspace is rarely visited until homeowners notice issues with their floor bouncing or sagging or, in a bad case, where the floor is separating from the bottom of the wall. When it gets to the point of floors dropping, that strongly indicates major structural problems in the crawlspace. Click Here for Dry Rot pictures!
Understanding Dry Rot And Wet Rot :
Dry rot is also known as wood decay, brown rot, and brown rot decay. Dry rot is a fungus 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, eventually making its way to structural components. A prevalent 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 and temperatures of around 70 to 78 degrees. Wet rot is very similar to fungi, except it requires a higher moisture content above 50 percent.
This is common when there is no moisture barrier and groundwater. 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 it’s 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 already present.
Dry Rot / Wet Rot boards can often appear as dark boards that look dirty or older. It can appear as the board has dried out and decreased in size when it gets to later stages. Due to mold preferring a similar climate, its presence can make it hard to see the fragile boards decreasing in size.
When it comes to this type of damage, removing all boards destroyed by the fungi can be required. 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 requires 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 ensure the ground has adequate drainage away from the foundation/crawlspace.
- Ensure there are no leaks in the plumbing system and the HVAC drain pan.
- Make sure the insulation is correctly 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 evaporating out of the ground.