Whenever possible, inspect for any signs of dry rot. Early detection is key to keeping dry rot repairs as inexpensive as possible. When you know what to look for you can save time and money by stopping the rot and keeping your home investment in tip-top shape.
Identifying Dry Rot
Dry rot can happen to even relatively young houses, so check your home annually. The risk of dry rot exists where ever wood and water meet, the longer the area takes to dry, the higher the risk. Take a clipboard, pen, flashlight, and flat-head screwdriver to test any suspicious areas in a systematic search.
Look at any horizontal wood, like facia boards and windowsills, anywhere wood meets concrete, and pay particular attention to wood joints. Look for any signs of wood rot or water damage in areas of your home where the wood looks dark.
Check for blistering, cracking or peeling paint, as well as exposed end grain wood that can wick up moisture from concrete. Check anywhere that wood is close to dirt or where greenery sits against the house. Fungus spores accelerate wood rot, so be on the lookout for white, gray, orange or green algae growing in these places. Test with the screwdriver. If there’s any give to the density of the wood, you’ve found rot. Use your clipboard and camera to document where you discover dry rot and estimate the extent of the damage. If you find rot, now is the time to stop it.
Hopefully, any dry rot you find will be in the early stages and easily treated. If dry rot is advanced, it can spread to structural framing and require replacement of entire pieces of framing.