What is dry rot and how can you prevent it?

What is dry rot and how can you prevent it?

Dry rot has the potential to ruin any wooden structure. You’ve probably heard of dry rot even if you’ve never encountered it. However, you might not know exactly what it is, how to spot it, or how to treat it. Given how common dry rot is, and how much damage it can do if left unchecked, it’s worth understanding exactly what it is and how you can prevent it.

Wood with dry rot

Identifying dry rot

Also known as ‘brown rot’, dry rot is caused by fungi and leads to wood decay. Where dry rot occurs, these fungi break down cellulose and hemicellulose, both of which are important for giving wood its strength and resilience. When these components are depleted, the wood will become brittle and take on a ‘blocky’ appearance.

The fungi responsible for dry rot like a damp environment, so where you have wooden structures and damp there’s a danger of dry rot forming. Some types of wood are more susceptible than others. For dry rot to break out, the moisture content needs to rise in excess of 20%. In most cases, dry rot can be treated by removing the source of the moisture, as well as any wood that’s already been affected.

Dry rot fungus growing on wood

How does it spread?

As with other types of fungus, those responsible for dry rot spread via the spores that they produce. When these spores are released, they become airborne and are easily spread owing to their tiny size and weight. This means that dry rot tends to spread as far as the ideal conditions for dry rot exist.

There are three common sources of the moisture that allows dry rot to spread. The first is due to the wood not being correctly kiln-dried prior to being used for construction, a process which would usually reduce the moisture content to make it more resistant to rotting. The other two common causes are exposure to highly humid conditions and exposure to large volumes of water.

Serpula Lacrymans, the fungus that causes dry rot

Treatment

If dry rot does take hold then you have a number of different treatment options. Epoxy treatments will kill the rot and also reinforce the structure of the wood, they involve filling in channels with an epoxy resin. Commercial antifreeze has sometimes been used as a treatment for wood rot, as it’s effective at killing the fungus responsible, as well as preventing dry rot forming in the future.

If you encounter a particularly serious outbreak then you might want to hire a professional service to remove it.

Wood with dry rot

Prevention

Preventing dry rot is pretty simple. As you may have guessed, it’s mostly a case of ensuring that moisture and damp aren’t allowed to accumulate around any wooden structures on your property. Whenever you paint wood, make sure that you prime it first, as this will prevent moisture becoming trapped underneath the paint and leading to dry rot breaking out.

Keeping the issue at bay is a case of keeping any wood and wooden structures on your property away from excessive moisture. If you can do this, then you should be able to remain free of the condition.

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3 signs you might need to call a plumber

3 signs you might need to call a plumber | H is for Home

As a home-owner, you’ll sometimes be faced with repairs and other home improvement projects. While many of these fixes can be done without the help of a professional, some problems require expert knowledge. Plumbing is one area that often requires a professional and trying to fix plumbing issues on your own can turn into an even bigger problem.

Today, we’re going to learn a few signs that just might indicate that you need to call a plumber for backup.

Soldering a water pipe

You have a slight leak in your pipes

If you notice a small leak in one of your water pipes, you may think it’s no big deal. However, small leaks can turn into serious flooding in a matter of seconds. Small leaks can also be an indication that your water system needs a major overhaul. If you notice leaking pipes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Calling a professional plumbing service like Reckon Plumbing for those of you who are based in Los Angeles will ensure that your small leak is fixed before it’s too late. Water damage is a serious issue that could end up costing thousands. Get those leaks fixed so that your biggest investment is protected.

Shower head

You keep running out of hot water

When you take a shower, do you notice the hot water runs out before you’re finished? This could be a sign that your boiler isn’t working properly. In more serious situations, it could mean that your water heater is about to fail and should be replaced. But, only a qualified plumber can determine the condition of your boiler.

In some cases, boilers can be repaired. However, if your unit is more than 10 years old, you may want to think about having it replaced. If you do need to install a new boiler, you should allow a certified plumber to do the job. Boilers can cause house fires if they’re not installed properly.

Damp basement

Your basement always seems damp

If your basement is always damp or you notice water seeping from the walls, you should call a plumber. This could be a sign of a leaking water pipe or drain line that is hidden underground. While you can take measures to get rid of the moisture by installing dehumidifiers, you should have the problem checked out by a plumber.

As we’ve learned above, water damage is a serious issue that could cause many different types of problems. The worst issue you may face is a mould infestation. When there is moisture present in your basement, it will often attract dangerous mould. Once mould has taken over your basement, it can make your family sick and cost you thousands of dollars to remove. To play it safe, call a plumber as soon as you notice moisture in your basement.

These are just a few signs that it might be time to contact a plumber. Remember, there are many jobs that only a certified plumber can handle. They have the knowledge and tools to do these jobs properly, so when in doubt, always give them a call.

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