What Are the Symptoms of Dry Rot?

Just understanding what dry rot is doesn’t typically help when it comes to avoiding it in your home. To do that, you need to understand what you should be looking out for. That way, you can recognize when dry rot is happening in your home.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms? If so, it’s probably time to call an expert for an inspection. 

Shrunken or Cracked Wood

Dry rot has a very distinctive method of impacting the wood it’s on. It shrinks and cracks in a cuboidal pattern. This is relatively rare to see in other structural concerns, which means if you see it, you should probably be considering dry rot.

This cracking pattern is typically distinctive with its long lines running up and down the length of the wood, with shorter, more jagged lines running across those. This forms the distinctive cube-shaped cracks across the wood.

If you’re in the crawl space and you start to notice this shrinking or cracking, it’s time to call in the experts. Even if it’s not dry rot, you probably do have some serious structural problems to deal with. 

Decay or Material on Floor Joists or Beams

One easy-to-discover symptom of dry rot only arises if you’ve been dealing with this problem for a while without contacting experts to help you deal with it. Dry rot can grow mushroom-like “skin” when it’s been developing for a long time in less-humid conditions.

It’s common for this “skin” to be silky gray or brown, often tinged with patches of lilac and yellow. Even if you don’t see these obviously mushroom-shaped growths, you may start to notice mycelium, which looks sort of like fuzzy ice.

If you’ve started to notice actual material growing on the wood, you’re definitely dealing with a serious infestation. Dry rot on floor joists needs to be dealt with as early as possible, so if you’re seeing this, contact an expert now. 

Musty, Damp Odor

This is one of the most common ways to tell whether you’re dealing with humidity issues in your crawl space. As the humidity mounts and starts to decay the wood, you’ll start to notice a musty odor through your entire home.

This happens because of the “stack effect.” The air in your crawl space doesn’t just stay there. Because of physics, it rises up through your home, which means you’ll start to smell it in the living spaces in your home.

Any time you notice a different smell in your home, it’s a good idea to do some investigating. If that smell is similar to wet, rotting wood, it’s time to call an expert.

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