Don’t Let Dry Rot Destroy Your Home

dry picOn June 16 in Berkeley, California, six students died after a balcony they were standing on collapsed. Inspection reports showed that the collapse was caused by dry rot. On July 3 in Folsom, California, a man was killed when a stairway at an apartment complex fell on him.  Dry rot is the suspected cause of the collapse.   Since then, dry rot has become a hot-button issue.

Dry rot is a type of wood-destroying fungi that compromises the structural integrity of wood due to a variety of factors, such as excessive moisture or conditions deemed likely to lead to (or cause) infestation or infection of the wood (e.g. leaking pipes or condensation).

For homeowners with raised, wooden decks and lofts who are also concerned about their safety, there are measures to take that can help to prevent or to repair structural dry rot damage.

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION:

  • Regularly inspect your wood deck/loft carefully for cracked, warped or splintered boards to see if they are soft or moist and free from any insect infestation.  If you notice any signs of damage, it may be necessary to contact a licensed professional to determine what repairs, if any, are needed.  Making a small investment early on can save a lot of money and worry down the line.
  • CHECK FOR WATER LEAKAGEMake sure there aren’t any broken water pipes or sprinklers in your yard that allow water to seep under your deck or loft.
  •  WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS TURN TO A PRO: If all this sounds like too much work, you can always hire a licensed professional.  After all, they’re trained to observe and detect things that you might overlook.
  • WHO TO CALL: The Structural Pest Control Board is here to help. If you have questions about a structural pest control company and need to verify their license status, log on to www.pestboard.ca.gov or call (916) 561-8700. You can also contact the Contractors State License Board at (800) 321-CSLB (2752) or log on to www.cslb.ca.gov to check the status of a contractor’s license.

One thought on “Don’t Let Dry Rot Destroy Your Home

  1. The issue at Berkeley though was different in that that deck was a waterproof coated deck where as most deck failures are with wood decks. The Berkeley failure was a result of poor construction sequencing of the waterproofing, the architect left out a critical detail and the waterproofing company couldn’t do their job correctly.

    For wood decks I have a five page inspection checklist that reviews the critical components. This past week I inspected a deck that had rot in the support posts at the footings, rot in the stairs and improper railing openings.

    I often inspect decks in real estate transactions and find that pest control companies have missed dryrot and termite damage that I found.

    Use a pro who works on and inspect decks, they know where the problem spots are.

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