How to Spot and Treat Dry Rot
How to Spot and Treat Dry Rot
Dry rot can be very costly to repair and is one of the most unpleasant things to deal with
when it comes to the maintenance of your home. If you would like to learn more about
dry rot, how to prevent and repair it, keep reading.
Dry rot is a fungus that grows and feeds off wood leaving it cracked, dry and fragile.
What Causes Dry Rot?
Dry rot develops in wet wood. When moisture penetrates the wood, it becomes a
perfect environment for bacteria and fungi growth. Fungi spreads via spores. These
spores spread fast once they land on wood. If left untreated, dry rot can quickly
penetrate the wooden structure of your home and create even more damage.
How to Identify Dry Rot?
It’s important to learn to identify dry rot quickly. This will help you save your house or
outdoor living space from complex and expensive repairs.
Check for Fungus
Dry rot can be seen as fungus mycelium. It looks like a white-colored growth. If you
attempt to bend the strands, some of them make break.
You might also notice some orange pores or red spore dust on the wood surface.
In drier weather conditions fungus may also have a skin like mushrooms that might look
grey with a tint of yellow or lilac color.
Even if a fungus is not yet visible, you might be able to smell a strong odor that is
caused by decaying wood. You might also notice the changes in the structure of the
wood itself, it will feel brittle, fragile and might crack or crumble if you touch it.
How to Treat Dry Rot
The first thing you need to do, if you can, is limit the wood’s exposure to moisture. You
may need to refinish and repaint the siding of your house, or other wood structures. Fix
pipes that might be leaking, repair any damages in the walls or the roof and other
things. To help wood dry, try to add more ventilation to reduce humidity, especially at
the crawlspace areas.
Once these preventive steps have been taken, it is beneficial to consider additional
One of the most popular solutions that is used to treat dry rot is applying a borate
solution over the wood affected by dry rot. Borate is commonly used to eliminate fungus
and dry rot from the wood.
Another common mixture is Tim-Bor that comes in the form of powder and is used to
treat contaminated wooden surfaces. It can also be used as a top layer to protect your
wood from termites for up to 30 years, potentially.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to borates they are not water resistant and can be
washed away in conditions with excessive or ongoing humidity.
The second solution that is most commonly used as a treatment of dry rot is glycol.
Glycol is a chemical ingredient in antifreeze solutions. Ethylene glycol is known to be
dangerous for human health, and propylene glycol is less toxic.
Glycol treatments usually are sprayed on wooden surfaces. The only downside, like the
borates, is that they can be washed away when exposed to a lot of humidity or
moisture. Epoxy and polyurethane are much more waterproof and weather resistant.
Since dry rot is sensitive to heat, heat fumigation and microwave treatments can also be
used to treat it.
During the heat fumigation process, specific areas of your house or even the entire
home will be covered by tarpaulin. All objects reactive to heat will be removed from the
areas which then is heated to eliminate the fungus. Treatment by heat can be very
expensive and is not commonly used.
Microwave treatment is a new method of treatment. It can be effective, but at the same
time quite expensive and it can cause serious heat damage. Therefore, it’s not
Some homeowners use solutions made at home to treat dry rot, such as hydrogen
peroxide, vinegar and baking soda. A combination of these products can be used to
treat wooden surfaces to make them more resistant to fungus and dry rot.
The downside to these home remedies is that they are not as effective as other
treatments. And the danger using these solutions is that it’s easy to miss a spot, and dry
rot will quickly spread to other areas deeper affecting the structure of your home.
The most practical and cost-effective method is removing all wood that has been
infected by fungi and developed dry rot. The rest of the area can be treated with a
fungicide or other solutions to eliminate any possible remaining fungus and protect the
rest of the wood.
This way all the dry rot will be eliminated, and the rest of the area protected from any
possible infection or infestation. The areas where the wood was removed will also be
treated and wood will be replaced, primed, and painted to match the rest of the house orany other structure.
Before You Start Treating Dry Rot
To prevent dry rot, do your best to eliminate the direct moisture sources, if possible.
Check bathrooms, the kitchen and attic for any possible plumbing issues. If any issues
are found, fix them immediately and inspect the adjacent areas for any possible mold or
If no plumbing issues have been found, creating better ventilation of spaces might
prevent from future dry rot infection.
If you notice any traces of fungus or dry rot in your home or outdoor space, do not delay
the treatment. It’s very important to eliminate dry rot quickly before it spreads to the rest
of the wood surface and creates further damage.
We strongly recommend that you do not treat dry rot by yourself, unless you have
previous DIY experience. It’s better to reach out to a professional for assistance.
Rot Repair is a branch of Good Life Construction that was founded in 2008. For the last
11 years we’ve been providing excellent service and have provided many residential
and commercial dry rot treatments, repaired mold and termite damage. Your safety
and comfort are our priorities.
If you need help treating dry rot in your home, call us today for your free estimate and
inspection 916-833-1379, and we will schedule an in-house appointment to discuss all
possible solutions and repair options.