Dry Rot Isn’t Dry
Dry rot is a condition that can affect any sort of dead wood, including the wood used to build houses. It affects the wood’s strength and durability, and if it advances far enough the wood can disintegrate completely at the slightest touch. However, despite the name, dry rot is caused by an excess of moisture.
The culprits responsible for dry rot are a set of fungus species who eat wood fiber. As the name implies, the fungus thrives in dry conditions, but like every living creature it still needs some moisture in order to survive. If the wood were really completely dry, the fungus would be unable to grow.
The same can be said of virtually every other unwelcome home invader. Whether it’s invasive, destructive insects like termites and carpenter ants or potentially toxic fungi like black mold and mildew, everything that moves or grows must have at least a little water to survive. One of the most important reasons to waterproof your home and especially your basement or crawlspace is to keep these things from gaining so much as a foothold.
Moisture can seep into a basement through improper drainage or cracks in the foundation, but just as often it can come from the very air. The East Coast has to deal with hot, humid summers from the North on down to the South, and if the waterlogged air from the outside descends into the relatively cool confines of your basement, the moisture can condense out of the air and onto the floor, walls, and ceiling, providing just enough water for a fungus like the one that causes dry rot. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a dehumidifier running in your basement throughout the hottest months of the year.
However, if your moisture problem goes beyond the humidity or else you’ve already got a fungal problem, and if you live in or near the state of Maryland, consider contacting AA Action Waterproofing for a free in-home estimate. We’ve been in business for over 27 years, and in all that time we’ve never seen a basement we couldn’t clean.