Did you know, according to statistics, more wood is destroyed each year by decay than by all the fires, floods, and termites combined! In advanced stages of decay, wood infested with some fungi may be structurally weakened within a short period of time.
Wood rotting fungi in a damp crawl space or basement can be a costly problem. The presence of this type of fungi can actually cause damage to the wood under your home.
Typically, we encounter two types of wood destroying fungi.
- One is white rot, which typically attacks hardwoods. This fungi attacks the cellulose and lignin in the wood. Infested wood may become “spongy” to the touch.
- The other type of fungi we commonly encounter is brown rot. Brown rot fungi usually attacks softwoods and turns the wood dark brown. Wood infested with brown rot fungi cubes the wood; it becomes brittle and will often readily crumble over short and long periods of time depending on the moisture content.
In advanced stages, one type of brown rot fungi can be extremely destructive. Using a moisture meter, we can determine the extent of an active infestation. If any wood has excessive moisture content of 17% to 20% or more, it may very well be infested with poria incrassata, also known as water-conducting fungus. This fungus transports water through root like structures. This type of infestation can progress rapidly and destroy flooring or the wood in the crawl space of your home within a year or more, depending on the moisture content and the source.
With the proper treatment, using water-soluble forms of borates, the fungi will actually begin to die and dry up within a few days. But remember, not only do you need to address the growth of the fungi in your home, you also need to consider moisture control measures to prevent the problem from recurring. Controlling the moisture source with additional ventilation, diverting the water source, and installing moisture barriers can accomplish this. (See our section on Moisture Control)
This area of Virginia is ranked the 2nd worst area in the United States for termite damage per square mile, yet we have more damages from moisture than termites!
Annual inspections are the ideal way to ensure that this destructive organism is detected early before costly repairs are needed.
Please consult one of our certified inspectors if you suspect that there may be the presence of wood rotting fungi your crawl space.
We offer initial inspections at no cost to you!