How to Know What to Do with Wood Rot

Rotting wood on the exterior of your home is not only unattractive, but could be a danger to the structural integrity of your home. While not all rot is dangerous, dry rot can be devastating if you don’t take care of it as soon as possible.

There are two main types of wood rot: wet rot and dry rot. Both are caused by different types of fungi. Wet rot is more common and often easier to take care of, but dry rot can significantly damage your home if left unattended. This is because wet rot is typically confined to the damp area, but the fungus that causes dry rot often spreads further into the wood, and even onto surrounding surfaces.

Wood rot can occur anywhere there is wood: windowsills, fences, siding, porches, steps, and more. Smaller affected areas might just need a little repair job, where the rotted section of wood is simply cut out and replaced. More often, especially in cases of dry rot, whole sections of wood must be taken out and replaced completely.

Keep an eye out for rot. If you can catch it early, you can prevent rot from occurring in the first place and you won’t have to worry about a big replacement job. Any wood that gets wet can rot, especially when there is no light or air circulation. Warmth can also be a contributing factor. Check places that are prone to these things, such as windowsills or doorsills, or any crevices that could potentially be a breeding ground for the fungus. Rain, wind, water, and dirt carry the spores into wood crevices, and if the water is allowed to sit and incubate, mold is likely to grow. Rotting wood is also a perfect place for critters or termites to thrive, so checking all potentially problematic areas every few months will keep problems from developing.

If you do discover wood rot in your home, be aware that the spores of the mold can be a health hazard when touched or inhaled. Handle the situation with caution, get a professional to take care of it, and remove the rot as soon as possible to keep your family safe.

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