The Truth Behind Roof Rot

May 12th, 2015

36257606_SAny kind of water penetration into a house allows the rapid growth of wood dry rot, molds and mildews. It is the rapid onset of molds and the later development wood rot or dry rot, which makes recovering houses that have stood in flood waters so problematic. It’s not so much the mud, garbage or silt that ultimately destroys the building as it is excessive moisture.

Dry Rot (which is actually several different species of wood-eating fungus) breaks down the inner fibers of the wood which causes it to become weak and brittle. For example, this is why some lumber is “pressure-treated” with fungus killing preservatives which will prevent or slow down most fungal growth. All treatments weaken with age and must be constantly reapplied.

But the root cause of all dry rot and mold is excess moisture. Water penetration from a roof leak, if allowed to continue unchecked will eventually increase the moisture and humidity levels in your home. Water not only seeps into wood but also into insulation and other building materials as well. Dry rot is such a big deal because the wood-eating fungus digests or absorbs the parts of the fibers that make wood timbers and beams both rigid and strong.

The wood damaged by rot is usually somewhat dry and crumbly in appearance, hence the nickname “dry rot”, although the fungus spores only thrive in a damp or moist environment. This in turn causes the areas of your home affected by dry rot to suffer structural problems such as weakening of load-bearing beams, rafters, ceiling and floor joists, girders and other critical building components.

It only takes a 20% moisture level for dry rot to begin “fruiting” and to start sending out fine, microscopic strands of grey fungus into surrounding fibers. And once established in an ideal setting, dry rot can grow as fast as 9 -10 feet in a year and pass through cracks inside brick! So an uninterrupted source of water, no matter how tiny, can quickly accelerate the spread of this woodeating fungus effectively destroying your home’s structure. So putting

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