Is Dry Rot Eating Your Balcony or Deck
Is dry rot eating away at your balcony or deck? Do you know how to recognize the signs of dry rot?
What Is Dry Rot?
Dry rot is the decay of wood caused by certain types of fungi. The life-span of dry rot can be split into four stages which are:
- Spores attach to the wood
- The addition of moisture
- White strands grow and germinate the area
- A fruit body will then start new spores which affect more of the area
As the cycle continues, the dry rot spreads through the wood and on to the next piece near it.
Signs Of Dry Rot
Signs of dry rot are always visible depending on where the dry rot is.
If you can see the wood plainly and see what appears to be fine orange dust that is the spores attaching to the wood and it is early enough that you may be able to remove it and stop the dry rot.
If you notice the white strands, it is in the second stage and may still be able to be removed.
If you notice a mass of the white strands you are well on your way to having to repair instead of remove and you should probably consult a professional. It is at this point you will more than likely start seeing small cracks.
Once you hit the fruit body where new spores are spreading you will undoubtedly find cracks, and the wood will be scorched, the wood will have shrunk and more than likely warped.
You may also experience a damp, musty, and fungal smell. While this scent does not always mean you have dry rot but will indeed mean there is an issue of dampness and dampness can lead to dry rot.
Fixing Dry Rot
Prevention is always the first step which includes:
- Proper ventilation is a must especially, in bathrooms, kitchens, and attics.
- Even if you know that plumbing has been correctly installed, you still need to do regular checks for leaking pipes or drains under sinks and around toilets, and your attic for leaks from the roof.
- Decks and balconies should have proper sealing done and reapplied regularly to keep out moisture
- Professionals who use a wrap to keep moisture from creeping in under the roofing or siding should install roofing and siding.
These steps will not only save you hassles, time, and money but they are easy to do.
Repairing Dry Rot
Repairing dry rot, on the other hand, can be costly and a real pain.
The way to repair dry rot consists of; once you have found the dry rot, you need to remove the area. As an example, the area of dry rot is 2 inches wide by 5 inches long; you will need to remove 4 inches on either side of the dry rot.
It can be tricky and not always the best way to go, especially, if it is on a 2×4 in the wall.
Replacement is necessary at times to make sure that the dry rot is gone and the structure remains sound and safe.
Fixing dry rot on your balcony or deck may be better left to the professionals if you have never done this type of work before or if you are a beginner at this kind of work.