Structural damage can diminish the ability of any building to maintain sound structural integrity. Often, these conditions exist undetected or hidden behind siding systems and envelope assemblies, deteriorating rough framing and plywood sheathing from the inside out. Rough framing, and most structural components, are not readily observable. Increasing damage to framing members can continue to progress for years before most building owners become aware of the issue.

What is dry rot?

Dry rot is the byproduct of wood decay that specific fungal species create by digesting the cellular components of wood which give it its strength and rigidity. There are four stages that make up the life-cycle of dry rot. Microscopic spores that have the appearance of fine orange dust make up the initial component of dry rot. These spores can remain dormant until subjected to moisture. When enough moisture is introduced to the environment the tiny spores will begin to grow fine strands, white in color, classified as hyphae. Hyphae will then begin the germination cycle and eventually form into a large mass classified as mycelium. The final of the four stages is known as a fruiting body. The fruiting body pumps newly formed spores into the surrounding air. Provided there is enough moisture to perpetuate the cycle, the fungal infection will grow at an exponential and alarming rate.

What does dry rot and structure failure mean for building occupants?

Dry rot and structural issues can place occupants at risk. These conditions can be an eminent threat to their well being and safety. The moisture intrusion needed for the growth cycle of dry rot can also lead to unhealthy environmental conditions for building occupants. The moisture can foster mold and mildew growth that can place occupants and tenants at risk of respiratory issues. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses may get serious infections when exposed to mold.

Compromised structure can also be a safety concern for building occupants. When wooden framing members lose structural integrity, it can lead to full or partial structural failure. Structural failure can lead to building collapse.

How can property managers and building owners spot early signs of damage?

Building owners, maintenance staff, and property management professionals can proactively examine buildings for signs of underlying (hidden) structural fatigue or decay caused by wood destroying fungus, commonly referred to as dry rot. Fungus infection and wood destroying insects are a wood framed building’s biggest threat of structure damage. Visible moisture staining and water damage are obvious signs of water infiltration.  This is a clear indicator that structural decay or a dry rot fungus issue isn’t far behind, if not already present. Some other signs pointing to potential structural issues include:

  • Cracking drywall or siding
  • Compression or buckling of interior/exterior surfaces
  • Poor fit and operation of windows and doors
  • Paint failure and lack of adherence
  • Appearance of wood destroying insects
  • Out of level floors
  • Areas of foliage or leafy vegetation in contact with the building

Steps to take after identifying signs of possible structure damage

Achieving a complete solution to wood destroying fungus infections, infestations, and compromised structure for your building(s) requires a comprehensive plan to be executed by a commercial construction expert. The first step in this process is full detection of the extent of damage. This is achieved through accurate identification fungal infections and wood destroying organisms. Proper analysis to determine the root cause of the adverse conditions that allowed the damage to occur is essential. Repairing the compromised structure will protect property owners from building failure, but eradicating the infection permanently requires curing the moisture intrusion that originally fostered the growth cycle. This will end the possibility of a reoccurring threat to the building.

How WRB Construction can help

WRB Construction is a licensed, bonded, and insured commercial general contractor that specializes in dry rot and specialty structure repair. Our primary objective is to provide our clients with industry leading exterior rehabilitation, structure repair, waterproofing, and building repair services. Our structural framing expertise, in conjunction with our knowledge of envelope assembly and building science, make WRB Construction ideally suited to obtain final solutions to fungus infection wood decay, wood destroying insect damage and dry rot.

We offer complete inspections of your entire building/property or limited inspections of a specific areas of concern. Upon completion of the inspection we provide a written report that identifies surface dry rot and potential underlying structural issues. The report will address areas of damage and the suspected conditions that have caused or could lead to damage. The report also outlines preventative maintenance recommendations.

When property owners are ready to mitigate their dry rot and structural issues our qualified team of master carpenters, experienced journeymen and construction managers possess the knowledge and skill sets to produce finished project results expected of a structural repair expert.

Call today to learn more about our structural and dry rot repair services.   (503) 427-1982