Tell me about wood fungus

Today’s inspection has been like others where the floor joists and wood framing show signs of rot or deterioration. While no mold or moldlike substance is seen covering the wood the wood has an appearance of being dried out or blackened and stained. Some areas look like the wood has shrinked or is rotting without signs of termite or mold.
Floor joists also start to crush or sink into sill plates and you can insert a screwdriver in some areas when soft enough.

What are the signs or symptoms others have seen when it come to wood fungus or damp conditons leading to deterioration of framing products??


Try to Google “Dry Rot”

Thanks Randy.
I thought I would start a discussion, but I guess its just not that interesting.

Try this link for Brown Rot

I always find Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) to be an excellent source of information for topics like these, and in particular the FPL Wood Handbook, which is a free download … :wink:

They have an entire chapter on Biodeterioration of Wood …

Thanks guys.:slight_smile:

Fogarty Can you Tell us how exciting brown rot can be for you:mrgreen: After all you gave up the penis pump and glove

:mrgreen::wink: Ouch! Hope nothing else turns to dry rot.

No such thing as “dry” rot. Wood rot is caused by decay fungi that become active at about 27% moisture levels in materials.
Materials don’t rot when they’re dry.
Pay attention to Robert’s post #5 if you really want to learn.

I think the IAC2 mold course covers this " dry rote " sorry Kenton ".
Explains about the principals of humidity percentages and living organisms and there interaction in materials.
Building sciences is important for HI…
I will finish the cert. This week.

Actually both Kenton and Randy are correct … hmmmm, how could that be … :shock:

Elevated moisture levels are needed for decay fungi to deteriorate wood, which is why the general technical use of the term “dry rot” was changed to “brown rot” in the early 1900’s. So technically there is no “dry” rot of wood, but some laymen still use the term “dry rot” to generally describe wood decay fungi.

Now maybe Randy is dating himself … :wink: … but there are types of decay fungi that can attack relatively dry wood. The fungi carry the water from soil into the building to attack the dry wood (e.g. *Serpula lacrymans … formerly Merulius lacrymans). So it is a type of “dry rot”, sometimes called “true dry rot” .… *but FPL now thinks a better description is “water-conducting fungi” in the category of brown rot because the wood is moist.

Clear as dry mud (although technically that would be “dirt” as there is no “dry” mud) … :mrgreen:

Oooop, yep. The fungal organisms extend tubes called “rhizomes” to import water to the area on which they want to feed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that situation, though.

Nice work Robert.
Kenton you have an advisory .HA HA Ha.

Detecting Water Damage Early – A Contractor’s View

Posted March 18, 2010
Filed under: apartment, Cameron Park, dry rot, General Contractor, Placerville, Tromler Construction, water damage | Tags: apartment, Cameron Park, Contractor, damage, dry rot, General Contractor, mildew, mold, Placerville, repair, Tromler Construction, water damage, wet rot |
Water damage, dry rot, mold, and fungus are not the type of words most people talk about on a regular basis. Contractors, those who repair water damage material, talk about it plenty! I have had countless conversations with owners and managers about the cause, how to detect water damage, early signs of rot, and removal of damaged materials. And yes, what is it going to cost to get rid of it.
Nobody want to pay good money to do repairs on their home, but a good maintenance program will go a long way in saving you money in the long run. Often times the homeowner can do the work themselves, you’d be surprised how easy some of the things are to keep up on the property. What can I do to reduce the dry rot, fungus, and water damage type of problems? Glad you asked.
A good starting point to remember: Wood always loses to water and dirt. That’s why we paint, stain, treat, and clean our homes. Let look at some examples. If you have a deck with planter boxes, make sure water and dirt aren’t building up around and under the boxes. That does not mean that if you spill some dirt and it rains, your deck boards will decay. Moist dirt sitting under the boxes over time will be a problem one day. Move the boxes occasionally, hose off the deck let things dry up for a little while. Pretty simple.
Keep an eye out for vegetation growing where it should not be growing. Grass or weeds growing out of the top of some trim boards in the back of the house is not normal. That probably means both water and dirt have gathered to germinate some seeds. This is not good. Clean it up with a brush, hose, and let it dry out. Sometimes you may see mushroom like growth on the wood siding, this is not normal, this would indicate a problem. Do not ignore the problem it will only get worse if nothing changes.
If these types of water and dirt issues are not addressed, the problem will grow into bigger problem and outside help may be necessary. Imagine what a deck post or some siding may look like if the irrigation sprinklers have been spraying on the wood for years, day after day. Or dirt has eroded down the side yard and onto the siding bottom. Sitting in the moist ground for a couple of years can cause the siding to decay.
This may sound a bit extreme, but we see it all the time. Sometimes it is a leaking window frame, or a clogged gutter spilling over the top, or paint pealing off on the sun side of the house. The beginning of water damage comes in all sorts of ways, but they do come. I believe that all homes have some sort of water damage – to some degree. Most homeowners just do not realize it yet. Checking for early signs, and potential problems is the answer.
If you discover that you do have a water damage, dry rot, fungus or some form decay that you have a concern with ask for help. Ask a friend or relative if they know something about your situation. If they can help that would be a good start. But do not be afraid to call someone who has done this before. A licensed contractor in your area will be more than willing to give you good advice. I’d call a couple of them. Talk to them get some knowledge about what is involved. If he’s there for a free estimate, do not burn up his day picking his brain. You may need his help with this situation, see if you are comfortable with what he has to say.
Tromler Construction is based in Placerville, but we work in surrounding areas like Cameron Park, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Sacramento and beyond. We are always willing to explain what has happened and what we would recommend that you do to resolve the problem – for free.
Early detection is important, and can save you a bunch of money in the long run.

If I use you post on the thread as a link in my website.
Does it allow the user of that link INACHI privileges ( as if the used a password to enter ) if they get in?
Or are they blocked Marcel?

Just acknowledges where it came from and the Author of the publication, I believe. :slight_smile:

Must be talking about “hyphae” or maybe “rhizoid hyphae”; rhizomes are on plants.

Thank you Brian,
That’s what I get for trying to depend on my memory.

Kenton you have so much knowledge surrounding so many subjects pertaining to the home inspection industry and building science that you can not be expected to remember everything.
Do not be so hard on yourself. You the best Kenton.:slight_smile:

Yes, Bobby, Kenton is quite knowledgeable (and knows it) and likes to be correct in his knowledge transferred to others…we were emailing each other 4 years ago!!

Hope you didn’t hurt your back bending over backwards after seeing my post…takes longer to heal at our age!!