Do I Need Dry Rot Repair Work Done?

Dry rot is not only unattractive, if left unattended, it can potentially do serious damage to the structural integrity of your Northern Virginia home. At Reston-based, award-winning All American Painting Plus, we do more than residential painting. The “plus” in our name stands for all the repair and replacement services we offer, including ridding your home of dry rot.

Dry rot is caused by a fungus. If certain spores on the exterior of your home come into contact with moisture, they can turn into a wood munching fungus. It’s nasty stuff and a real threat to your largest single investment.

So, how can you tell if you have dry rot? Look for the following:

  • White or grey growth on wood.
  • Advanced cases can have mushroom-like growths on wood.
  • Blistering or peeling paint.
  • Dark spots on the exterior paint.

Windows and door sills are the most common targets for dry rot, but the condition is not limited to the exterior of your home. Beams and joists in the attic (structural items) can become affected as well. To test for dry wood, insert a screwdriver into the suspect wood. If the screwdriver goes in easily or the wood feels spongy, you most likely have dry rot.

If you find dry rot, you have two options.

Repair Versus Removal of Dry Rot

Small amounts of dry rot can be repaired with this caveat. If the rot is on or near any structural elements, the wood needs to be replaced, not repaired. Dry rot is similar to cancer in that just removing what you can see does not ensure you have cut it all out. That means you have to remove “good wood” surrounding the rot to be sure you have solved the problem.

There are a number of “wood patch” products that can affect a repair. However, if you don’t have experience with wood patches, we would strongly advise you call a professional painting company like All American Painting Plus to handle the task. Remember, a patch is just that. There are no guarantees all the rot is removed.

Removal is a far more effective way to deal with dry rot. We are a residential painting contractor but our crew includes more than professional painters. We have finish carpenters and others who can take on home carpentry tasks, and as you’ll see from the steps below, that’s the skill set you’ll need.

The Best Solution for Dry Rot

  • The closest thing to a “sure cure” for dry rot is removing the wood. However, it is an involved process:
  • Remove all rotted wood plus all adjoining wood within three feet of the affected wood.
  • Clean all material, including pipes, within five feet of the rotted wood. Once cleaned, treat with a fungicide.
  • Shape a replacement part(s) using preservative treated wood.
  • Paint the replacement part(s) with a zinc oxychloride product.

Finally, identify the causes of the rot. Look for sources of moisture or poor ventilation. Attics, leaky gutters, poor drainage around foundations, and leaky roofs are common sources of unwanted moisture.

At All American Painting Plus, we have helped homeowners solve their dry rot problems all over Northern Virginia from Herndon to Arlington to Dulles. We are the painting service with the experience, the extraordinary customer care, and fast, professional results. If you suspect your home has dry rot, don’t wait, call us now!