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Dealing with dry rot

Any time problems arise with a house, there is the potential that it can be much worse that homeowners initially think. This is because in many cases, you cannot see the problem, but once it's uncovered, it's like opening Pandora's Box. Suddenly you realize that the problem may be spread throughout the house and compromising the safety and integrity of the home.

This can be the case when it comes to dry rot. Unfortunately, many homeowners across Florida are familiar with dry rot, thanks in large part to the climate here. However, there are things that can and should be done during the construction of a home to keep dry rot at bay and protect a home as long as possible.

Backing up a little, we should explain that dry rot is what happens when wood gets wet and cannot dry itself out. Over time, that wetness allows fungi to grow which contributes to the decay of the wood. Eventually, rotted wood becomes weak and breaks off.

There are ways to prevent dry rot, and it is crucial that contractors, developers and suppliers utilize these preventative measures. As noted in this Realty Times article, the best ways to prevent dry rot include:

  • Using wood that has been properly seasoned, or dried
  • Protecting wood from contact with soils
  • Pressure treating wood if necessary
  • Keeping wood dry

As you can see, preventing dry rot starts with using proper materials. Then these materials need to be installed and protected properly. Finally, there should be steps taken to minimize exposure to wetness, which often involves properly covering wood so it is not exposed to the elements.

If these steps are not taken, dry rot can develop and homeowners can be left with a hefty repair bill on their hands.

If your home is being built or was recently built and you believe that substandard materials or practices were used in the construction, keep an eye out for dry rot. In some cases, you can take legal action against a negligent party to cover the costs associated with this particular type of construction defect. 

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