WILLCO - Portland's Premier Painting & Remodeling Contractor

Dry Rot - What it is, Where it Comes From, and How to Prevent & Repair it

April 12, 2012
Tagged: Miscellaneous

We've all heard the dreaded term - dry rot. It's more common than we think, especially in this damp Pacific Northwest climate. The term "dry rot" is something of a misnomer, as it's the same as any other fungus/rot, requiring a higher than average moisture level to begin to grow. It's something of a catch-all term these days, used to describe several varieties of brown rot. But no matter the variety, they're all a big problem! Dry rot is very hard to detect from the outside, and a seemingly small repair can very easily become a major undertaking as more damage is uncovered.

Un-checked, dry rot can cause everything from minor cosmetic damage to major structural undermining that can cause buildings to buckle and reinforcements to fail. The only solution to treating dry rot is to cut out and replace any affected areas and re-build in a way that ensures that the area is never exposed to standing water.

Here at WILLCO, we are dry rot experts. Below, I will share photos from a job we completed last year. We were on site for a simple exterior re-paint, when one of our crew members noticed a small hole in the siding, about the diameter of a dime. Upon exploration with a fingertip, a huge chunk of siding fell away, revealing serious damage to the framing below. This problem was caused by improperly installed flashing at the roofline, allowing rain water to seep down inside the walls and create a moist environment where the fungus can (and did!) flourish.


Our superior carpentry team was able to replace all the affected areas with new construction and properly re-install flashing and other waterproofing measures, as seen here:


If you think you might have a dry rot problem, give us a call. It's much more cost effective to catch it early, before it has a chance to spread! We also specialize in waterproofing structures that don't yet have dry rot problems, and this is our preferred way of treating the issue. The best dry rot problem is the one that doesn't occur!


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