How to Prevent Dry Rot


Most people think that wood needs very humid conditions to rot. Wood does, in fact, rot in wet conditions; this is called wet rot. However, dry conditions can cause wood to rot. Dry rot is caused by bacteria that thrive in warm, dark and moist conditions. Dry rot can cause considerable damage to wood and other organic material in your home. Removing ideal conditions for the development of dry rot is the best course of action to prevent it.

Step 1

Provide adequate ventilation to your home attic. Ensure soffit vents are unobstructed in the attic. Pull back any insulation that may be covering them.

Step 2

Check the insulation in your attic to ensure that it is along the floor and not along the roof. If insulation is attached to the roof, remove it and lay it on the floor of the attic.

Step 3

Apply polyethylene plastic over exposed dirt floors in crawlspaces. This plastic will trap the moisture in the ground and not allow it up into the crawlspace.

Step 4

Check for standing water around your home. Water should quickly drain away after rain events. If you notice persistent standing water, ensure your rain gutters are properly draining the water away from the home. Extend them from their present position to transport the water farther away from your home.

Step 5

Watch the spray pattern of your lawn sprinklers. If one sprays toward the house, readjust it to spray away from the house. Water sprayed at the house will easily find entry inside.

Tips and Warnings

  • Ignored dry rot will lead to significant damages in your home over time. Failure to correct the problem will lead to expensive repair bills.

Things You'll Need

  • Polyethylene plastic
  • Scissors
  • Downspout extensions


  • Criterium Home Inspection: Dry Rot, Slow and Persistent
  • Tom Simpson: Dry Rot and Your Home: How to Avoid Costly Disasters
  • AllSands: Wood Dry Rot
Keywords: prevent dry rot, caused by bacteria, moist conditions, polyethylene plastic, adequate ventilation, soffit vents

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.