Why do I have wood rot? And how do I treat it?
Dry rot—a form of wood rot which causes affected boards to crumble or powder—can cause serious structural damage to your home.
And, if you don’t catch the warning signs of dry rot early, your floor joists—the load-bearing wood beams supporting your floor—can completely collapse.
Because dry rot poses such a serious safety risk to your home and your family, it is important to call in the experts at Helitech Waterproofing & Foundation Repair the moment you spot the warning signs. Most often, dry rot manifests itself as sagging or bouncy floors and brittle floor joists.
Your wood rot is caused by a type of fungal growth which eats away at your floor joists’ strength and load-bearing capabilities. The fungal growth that causes dry rot begins as a spore before it starts growing in high-humidity environments, such as the crawl space of your home.
Then, as your floor joists soak in the excess moisture, the fungus grows white strands called hyphae before developing into mycelium—a collection of germinated hyphae. In its final stages, the fungus manifests itself as a fruiting body. This causes your wood beams to crack as if the beams were excessively dry, which is where the term, “dry rot”, stems from.
If you spot a series of amorphous growths sprouting from your support beams, it is a clear sign that you are in need of wood rot repair services.
Dry rot poses a serious risk to the structure of your home and the safety of your family.
Contact the wood rot repair experts at Helitech.
Common wood rot repair methods
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dry rot treatment as every home is different. There are, however, two main methods of wood rot repair which can be customized to your home’s needs.
- Supporting the affected beam with a “sister” beam
This process, called ”sistering” is a cost-effective way of staying the structural damage and preventing future dry rot. First, we will remove the dry rot from the affected board and coat it with a dry rot treatment—antifreeze, copper solutions or epoxy formulas are common options—to prevent future fungal growth.Then, a ”sister” board is attached to the affected board, restoring the structural integrity of your flooring system.
- Replacing your floor joists entirely
Depending on the extent of damage, it might be necessary to replace the affected boards. First, we will need to install temporary floor jacks, which are adjustable steel beams used to support flooring systems. We will remove the affected floor joists and then install new ones.Once the new load-bearing joists have been installed at appropriate intervals, we will remove the floor jacks.
To learn more about how we repair sagging floors, click here.
Prevent future dry rot by treating the source of excess crawl space moisture
Replacing the affected boards is only half the battle. To complete a full wood rot repair, we must address the source of the moisture that caused the dry rot in the first place. This can be done through a three-part moisture control system—a vapor barrier, ventilation system and dehumidifier.
In conjunction, these three elements will protect against excess water vapor, promote healthy air circulation and maintain healthy humidity levels. To learn more about moisture and mold control for crawl spaces, click here.
We’ll give you, the homeowner, a free quote for your foundation repair.
We’ll get back to you with a cost-effective solution.
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St Charles, MO, USA
We had Kevin Estes from Helitech inspect our home last night and he showed us hard evidence of the problems, was a straight shooter with the consequences and alternatives, and backed everything up in a way that just made sense. We are very happy with our experience and feel blessed to have Kevin help us out with our basement issues!