Dry rot is a fungus called Serpula lacrymans which causes decay in wood. It is attracted to wet or damp wood and is usually found in poorly ventilated areas. Since we experience damp weather off and on all year round here in the Pacific Northwest, you can see why it’s important to discover and treat dry rot right away. Not only is it attracted to the type of weather we experience, but dry rot can spread very quickly throughout a home – even through masonry.
Dry rot causes wood to become powdery and cracked. It can also show up as white stains on wood.
If you suspect dry rot has infected a piece of wood, you can poke at it with a screwdriver or some such implement. If the wood crumbles away or gives quite a bit, there is something wrong and it might be infected with dry rot.
Because dry rot can remain dormant under certain conditions, it’s best to get the infected wood replaced completely or, in some cases, it can be treated specially to kill the dry rot and reused. When it comes to your roof, your rafters, or any structural element of your home, it’s best to get a professional in to assess the situation. Dry rot can cause major structural issues, spreads rapidly, and should be removed or impeded as quickly as possible.