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Preventing Dry Rot on Your Deck

Pembrook Nelson
March 6, 2015

If you are the proud owner of an outdoor deck, you are probably aware that decks need upkeep and maintenance in order to keep your prized possession in great shape. One of the main things that you need to be on the lookout for is dry rot and know what to do when your deck is rotting. Dry rot is a type of fungi that causes parts of the wood to lose its strength resulting in wood decay. Dry rot is extremely dangerous to outdoor wooden decks as it can eat away at the foundation of your deck as well as causing the overall deck to decay since the fungi can spread quickly throughout the deck. Some signs to look out for include discolored and spongy wood that seems to flake off. One of the most common ways that dry rot can occur is through the pooling of water and moisture on the surface of your deck. This can happen simply through the natural changes of the weather. From cold winters, melting snow, rain, humid summer days, and foggy fall days, there is a lot of moisture that can easily attack your deck.

Another additional problem that dry rot brings on a deck is the fact that it attracts termites and other wood-eating insects. This compounds the problem and makes the structure of your deck even less safe. It also means that you’ll have less time to fix your deck as the addition of termites will mean that your deck will be destroyed even quicker than with dry rot alone. The good news is that if the dry rot is spotted quickly enough, your deck may be saved. This will happen if the dry rot is only in a confined location such as one or two boards. If the fungus has not yet spread, you can simply remove the damaged wood and replace it with new boards. However, if the fungus has already spread to most of the deck, the entire deck will need to be replaced. The best way to help prevent dry rot is to use pressure-treated wood for your deck – especially if you live in a very rainy area. Other woods such as Cedar that are naturally resistant and strong against fungus and molds should be used.