Quick contact info

Victor Construction
Serving the San Francisco and Marin County areas

icon_widget_image (415) 472-9144 icon_widget_image mel@vcesf.com
image of worker on wood board

9 Signs of Dry Rot in California Homes

Image of dry rot in a home

9 Signs of Dry Rot in California Homes

Dry rot, or wood rot, can cause serious damage to your home if left unchecked. It is considered the most serious and dangerous form of fundal decay that attacks timber in buildings, causing it to become significantly weakened. Since dry rot can spread even without moisture, as it can generate its own moisture, it can quickly damage the structural integrity of any home.

California homeowners must be especially aware of this potential hazard and be able to spot the signs of dry rot. Read on for nine telltale signs of dry rot in the home.

1. Unusual Odors

 If you’ve noticed a strange smell anywhere in your home, you definitely need to investigate. Whether the cause is dry rot or something else, an odor is probably a signal that something is wrong. When dry rot is the culprit, the smell will usually be described as musty, damp, and earthy. It is especially likely that dry rot could be the issue if you’ve noticed the odor in an area with wood elements or a basement or other area where standing water, leaks, and moisture are likely to occur.

2. Cracked, Brittle Wood

You may notice some new cracks and shifts in appearance in wooden features and components of your home. Wood that is affected by dry rot will often look very dried out and will appear to shrink and warp. The timber may become brittle, and the wood grain will have a cuboidal shape and cracking features.

3. Brown, Red, or Grey Film on Wood

 A film on wood that looks like a skin of sorts may indicate dry rot damage. This film may appear with or without thread-like strand or fiber growth. If you have noticed this on the wood in your home, contact Victor Construction & Engineering immediately.

4. Crumbling and/or Spongy Wood

Wood that has been infected by dry rot spores may start to crumble. Keep an eye out for this around door frames, flooring, and skirting boards. The wood may also start to feel spongy, especially in the floors. This can indicate that the floorboards are starting to soften and rot, which can give way to very dangerous and hazardous conditions. It is important not to wait before contacting a dry rot repair service if you notice decaying wood in your home, as the structural integrity may be in jeopardy.

5. Grey Threads

Dry rot spores begin to produce hyphae when they come into contact with timber. Hyphae appear as whitish grey strands on timber and indicate the presence of dry rot. These threads often look very similar to cobwebs. This is how dry rot spreads from one area to another, which can rapidly cause serious, costly damage. Grey threads are especially important to address, as they likely mean the dry rot has progressed to the point of spreading.

6. Mycelium

White mycelium is the penultimate phase of the life cycle of dry rot. It appears like cotton balls and is often hard to spot, as it is frequently located under floors and in other areas with little ventilation. You will want to immediately work with a dry rot removal service if you have noticed mycelium in your home.  

7. Mushrooms and Other Fruiting Bodies

When dry rot has begun to appear like mushroom or visible fungus, it has reached the last phase of the dry rot lifespan. The mushroom is very distinctive in appearance, so it is a very likely indicator that dry rot has taken hold in the home. These fruiting bodies sometimes resemble fleshy pancake growths with an ochre-orange surface and wide pores.

8. Red Spore Dust

Spore dust generated by the fruiting dry rot is definitely reflective of a problem. This means dry rot has reached an advanced stage and has begun spreading spores into the air. At this point, the dry rot is attempting to find another source of moisture, so the spreading must be stopped as soon as possible, and the already-damaged timber must be removed for structural soundness. It is easy to identify by its bright, reddish-brown rust color.

9. Exterior Damage

Whenever you spot cracks or holes in the exterior of your home, there is likely a problem that needs to be investigated. Examine your home’s siding, roofing, windows and door frames. There is an opportunity for water infiltration in virtually all of these parts of the house. Any area that can be accessed by water is at-risk, so it’s best to regularly take a look at these parts of the home just to make sure there are not any problems. Standing water can cause serious problems beyond dry rot, so it is critical to have a dry rot repair technician identify the problem and make sure it does not recur in the future.

Contact Us

Victor Construction & Engineering provides dry rot repair and removal in Marin County, California. If you have noticed any or all of the aforementioned signs of dry rot in your home, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We can help you determine the cause of the problem, remove the affected wood, make any repairs, and ensure the issue does not recur in the future. Call 415-472-9144 to speak with a representative today.