Dry Rot Fungus

Overview

Homeowners, builders and preservationists cringe at the thought of dry rot fungus (Merulis lacrymans) problems. Complications arise when fungus sets into the wood and then spreads to other areas of buildings. Without appropriate attention, dry rot causes significant structural damage, according to Encyclopedia.com.

Significance

The primary causes for the problem of dry rot fungus is inappropriately seasoned wood and inadequate ventilation. Homes and other structures are then at significant risk for mild to severe damage because the dry rot weakens woodened structures. For example, a wooden support beam could weaken and the supported structure collapse.

Types

There are two primary types of dry rot fungus. The fungus that enters pores of wood is known as Poria incrassate, most often found in rubber products, but also in wood. Home dry rot or Merulis lacrymans is the common and predominant form that destroys the integrity of homes.

Moisture

Wet or continuously moist environments breed different types of fungi. The common form of dry rot appears in areas with moderate to high-moisture levels. Moisture problems arise in older buildings with improper ventilation. It is common knowledge that moisture from a crawl space or basement can seep upwards into a home, leading to the ideal growing conditions for dry rot fungus.

Identification

Wood changes color and crumbles with the presence of dry rot fungus. Since the problem begins within the interior of the soft or hard woods, severe damage is present when noticeable discoloration changes appears. Immediate attention to the causes of dry rot and damaged areas is vital to structural integrity. Once the problem is identified, getting rid of the dry rot is the best way to save buildings and homes from collapse.

Prevention/Solution

The best prevention for dry rot fungus is to make sure homes and buildings have proper ventilation. Increasing airflow in the lower portions of the buildings and using moisture barriers in crawlspaces and basements reduces moisture buildup. Wood preservation chemicals, such as creosote, reduce susceptibility to dry rot fungus invasion. Epoxy treatments and antifreeze destroys dry rot fungus and strengthens wood integrity.

Keywords: dry rot fungus, dry rot, rotting wood

About this Author

Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.