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How to DIY: Fixing Dry Rot Damage

Home ownership sometimes comes with the unpleasant surprise of dry rot damage.  Nobody likes to find their home in disrepair, but with this guide you can fix it yourself or hire a local contractor to take on the dirty work for you.  At the end of this article we show an example of a job we personally did that also had rat infestation and a beehive.

Steps to Fix Dry Rot Damage

Dry rot interestingly enough is wood decay caused by a type of fungus that can live in wet wood.  It mostly resides where there are or have been leaks.  The fungus will continue to grow if there is sufficient dampness.  The dampness will allow the fungi microscopic spores to grow white strands known as hyphae.

To avoid problems later make sure to eliminate the leak’s water source.

Dry rot example up close

Here are our DIY steps for fixing dry rot:

  1. Remove siding, insulation and other damages around the area which will later be replaced.
  2. Cut off wood that has been damaged if it isn’t structural.
  3. Clean the exposed area properly and treat nearby wood.
  4. Replace the removed wood with new treated wood to prevent further damage.
  5. Make sure to dispose of the fungi infested wood away from any area you wouldn’t want dry rot.
  6. After thorough cleanup and treatment of the area you are ready to install insulation, siding, etc.

With these steps in mind you should be able to repair the damage yourself, however if there is structural damage please contact a reputable contractor.

A Client’s Dry Rot Damage Repair

I was contacted to inspect a house for dry rot damage. I started by removing the shingle siding. Upon removal, I noticed there was not only dry rot, but powder post beetle damage, a large rat nest, and a large beehive in the walls all causing damage to the house.

Initial Inspection of Damage

Dry Rot Damage Inspection

Dry Rot Damage Evidence

Looking at the initial inspection of the home we estimated and completed from start to finish in six days with two men.

Dry Rot Damage Repair Process

Dry rot and rat infested guide process

We began by removing the beehive and removing the rat nest. The house was temporarily supported while the damaged framing was cut out and replaced with new framing. We performed a seismic upgrade by bolting the framing to the foundation and adding plywood to the exterior.

The walls were insulated, tar paper was installed, and new cedar shingles were added to match existing shingles.

Hiring a local contractor might be better than doing it yourself for safety reasons.  Also keep in mind that when you fix the damage of the dry rot you also need to fix the source of the water leak.

Did you know that in the health and safety field the term dry rot has been used to describe deteriorating rubber?




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