Fungus is second only to termites in destructive capacity. Wood destroying fungus (also called dry rot) requires moisture to infiltrate the wood of your home, but once established, dry rot fungus can spread without a direct source of water (this is where the “dry” in dry rot comes from). Dry rot fungus digests the part of the wood that gives it its strength and integrity. By the time you see the small, rectangular pieces of crumbling wood that are characteristic of fungal damage, severe damage has been done.
Dry rot fungus favors wet winters that saturate wood siding, cause leaking roofs, and saturate soil. Sometimes the puncture of a nail or screw allows water to infiltrate wood, and then dry rot fungus weakens the wood causing the nail or screw to loosen or fall out. Moisture seeping up from saturated soil under a house may provide dry rot fungus an entry in your substructure. A leaky toilet, leaking roof, or flooded area are also cause for concern.
The three areas at most risk for dry rot fungus damage are wood siding, deck joints, the substructure (the subflooring and beams under your home), and the attic. Did you know that all of these areas are inspected for dry rot fungus and fungus damage during the course of what is commonly called a termite inspection?
A well ventilated attic, well ventilated substructure, and painted siding are your best protections from dry rot fungus. Additionally, there are several low-toxicity products that may be applied to unpainted wood as a preservative. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control provides inspections for fungus, termites, and other wood-destroying organisms AND offers preventive treatments for new and existing construction.