Water Damage Bountiful can Cause Wood Rot

Water Damage Bountiful Causes Wood Rot

Rotted wood is always precipitated by water damage Bountiful. But contrary to common thought, it is not the water penetration of the wood that causes the condition referred to as rot. Rather, wood rot is caused by the combination of the presence of moisture in the wood fiber along with the presence of wood decay spores. Once the wood decay spores land on moist wood they will then germinate into a fungus that will in turn begin to digest the wood. The fungus will then reproduce by creating its own spores and in this manner continue to spread. Eventually this spread of fungus digesting the wood will begin to compromise the structural integrity of the wood. Obviously, this can result in a dangerous situation if the wood in question is load bearing.

Wood rot exists in three most common forms. These forms are called Brown Rot, Soft Rot and White Rot. The following is a description of these three types of wood rot.

Brown Rot

Brown rot is sometimes called dry rot, cubic wood rot or cubical brown rot. Brown rot is often referred to as dry rot not because it occurs in dry conditions. In fact moisture must first be present for the wood decay spores to germinate into wood digesting fungus. However, after the brown rot takes hold it then has a tendency to dry out. In this dry condition, brown rot takes on a dry, crumbly (sometimes powdery) texture and appearance which is why brown rot is sometimes referred to as dry rot. The reason brown rot is sometimes referred to as cubic wood rot or cubical brown rot is because in its dry stage the brown rotted wood tends to break down in cubical pieces that split in opposition to the grain of the wood.


Soft Rot

Soft rot is caused by a different species of fungus than brown rot but the process by which soft rot spores germinate into fungus is very similar. Once the soft rot spores germinate into fungus the fungus then proceeds to secrete a specific enzyme which dissolves the cellulose making up the wood fiber. Unlike brown rot or white rot (see below) soft rot has a higher tolerance for environmental conditions including conditions that are either too wet, cold or hot for the other types of fungus to thrive. Soft rot can also compromise the integrity of wood which would otherwise be able to naturally defend itself against brown rot.

White Rot

White rot is so called because once it takes hold it has the appearance of soft, white strings of material. White rot can also be yellow in color. This particular type of rot appears more commonly in hardwoods such as oak, ash or beech. Similar to brown rot and soft rot, white rot requires the presence of moisture in the wood in order for its spores to germinate into a fungus. This fungus then produces an enzyme which in turn breaks down the wood. White rot tends to be more aggressive than brown rot or soft rot and can even take hold in living trees. White rot can also produce mushrooms including the oyster mushroom, the honey mushroom and the Shiitake mushroom

How to Prevent Wood Rot Caused by Water Damage Bountiful

Wood rot can cause extensive damage to any home or structure. As such it is a good practice for any home owner to prevent wood rot from taking hold in the first place. In general there are three basic strategies to prevent wood rot. These strategies all involve removing the presence of water so that it will not be in a position to cause water damage Bountiful. These three strategies include (1) treating the wood itself with a protective barrier, (2) prevent water from pooling on any surface and (3) keeping a house or structure well ventilated so that the water has a better chance of evaporating.

First let us explore the strategy of employing a protective barrier on the surface of the wood. One of the most effective means of preventing wood rot is to paint the surface of the wood. This is especially important with wood surfaces that are directly exposed to the forces of nature. Paint will serve as a barrier between the wood and the weather which will then prevent moisture from settling into the wood fiber as well as prevent the wood rot spores from germinating into the wood itself and breaking it down. In addition to painting wood, applying caulk to all seams, joints and cracks along the edges and on the surface of the wood that would otherwise provide an entrance for moisture and spores to penetrate. Wood can also be treated with a preservative as a protection from possible wood rot. Oftentimes preservatives of this sort are used on wood that is in close proximity to the ground.

Second let us explore the strategy of preventing water from pooling on top of any wood surface. It is a good practice to prevent wood from rotting by constructing all homes and structures such that there is no area of wood surface where water is likely to pool and sit for an extended period of time. The simplest and most effective way to do this is to make sure all surfaces have at least a slight incline so that any water sitting on top of them will tend to drain off rather that sit on top of them until the water evaporates. Similarly, the soil around the base of the house or structure should be sloped so that water will be directed away therefrom and not pool around it. Houses with gutters also tend to be less likely to be susceptible to wood rot because the gutters serve to channel the water away from it.

Finally let us explore the strategy of keeping a house or structure well ventilated. Standing water will evaporate more quickly in well ventilated areas. Therefore maintaining proper airflow through areas such as basements and crawl spaces is an effective practice to avoid wood rot in these locations. This can be achieved by installing vents and sometimes fans are used as well to increase the airflow through these areas.