Preventing dry rot isn't as easy as most people would like to think. The reason for this is that, unlike with what you see in wet rot, dry rot only needs an absolute minimum amount of water to start. One of the more common reasons for dry rot is that the home is either in an area of high humidity or that the home has a higher-than-normal level of humidity within it.
There are a few methods that you can use to help not only stop dry rot from advancing, but possibly prevent it from getting a foothold at all. These methods are presented here, more as guidelines than as absolute rules since every situation is a little different.
- Check the ventilation. One of the leading causes for dry rot is poor ventilation, combined with a few other things. Inspect your home, and look to make sure that your home is properly ventilated, and if necessary make adjustments so that you do have the proper ventilation. The most important places to check are in your attic and crawl spaces.
- Check your insulation. If your home is improperly insulated it can actually help to encourage the growth of dry rot. Not only do you need to make sure that you have the proper levels of insulation, but that the insulation itself is actually installed correctly. One of the more common insulation mistakes is to insulate the roof of an attic, rather than the floor of the attic.
- Check out the crawl space. For those homes that happen to have a crawl space, you need to get into it and look around. When looking in the crawl space you are primarily going to be looking for any standing pools of water, ensuring that the floor has proper drainage, and that there are no exposed dirt flooring. A simple, and effective, method for covering a dirt floor is to lay down some plastic sheeting, and this will help block the moisture that comes from the ground.
- Look for, and repair, any leaks. While you are looking around your home, keep an eye out for any leaks. The minute that you find any, repair them/ These leaks can often add excessive moisture to an area, and help encourage dry rot.
- Apply fungicide. Believe it or not, but dry rot is caused by a form of fungus which ends up "eating" the wood. If you find any signs of dry rot, then you need to apply a fungicide that has borate as one of the primary ingredients, to ensure that you kill it off. Keep in mind that this may not work if the dry rot is advanced enough, but you really won't know that until you apply it.
- Replace if necessary. In the event that you find the dry rot is too advanced, you will need to remove and replace the items that are infected. If you don't, you can pretty much expect that infection to spread throughout the rest of the wood that is nearby.
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