Wood Rot


Even though your home or commercial building has been well constructed and designed for the long haul, the outdoor elements and nature itself have a huge role in how long these structures last. Because there are so many different factors involved in how the wood in a structure performs, you can expect to see a certain amount of damage to be sustained over time. One of the most crucial and problematic is finding lumber in a building that contains wood rot. Therefore, if you want to know more about what wood rot is, and the adverse impact that it has on any structure, here are some things that you should know today.

How Long Does It Take For Wood Rot To Develop?

Understand the Differences Between Dry Wood Rot and Wet Wood Rot

Firstly, whenever someone talks about wood rot, they may refer to it as a singular phenomenon. And, even though this may be relatively common, there are actually 2 main types of rot that can affect the wood in any kind of structure. The two most common types are referred to as dry rot and wet rot. While the term “dry rot” may appear to be a misnomer, it still requires a certain amount of dampness to germinate. So, this is the type of rot that tends to thrive on wood that contains approximately 20% moisture.

On the other hand, wet rot tends to grow and germinate on wood that contains approximately 50% of the moisture. Simply put, wet rots growth is normally contained within the dampest areas. It is also important to note that dry rot is considered to be the more problematic of these 2 primary types. This is mainly because dry rot has a lesser confined ability to hide its presence for longer periods than its counterpart (i.e. wet rot). Whatever the case or situation, everyone needs to know and understand the primary differences between both dry rot and wet rot when they see it. With this being said, here are a few things that you should know about wood rot types and what you should look for.

What Should You Look for to Determine the Signs of Wet Ret vs Dry Rot?

Even though the actual signs of wood rot are not always simple to identify or clear to find easily, there are a few things that you can look for. In many cases, you will find evidence of wood rot that is normally considered as dead giveaways between the two different types.

Here are some basic signs of wet rot:

  • Fungus on wood that is seen as isolated
  • Flaking, damaged, and/or peeling paint
  • Wood that has the consistency of a soft, spongy texture
  • Wood that appears a lot darker in color than most wood choices
  • Wood that is extremely dry, cracks, crumbles

Here are some basic signs of dry rot:

  • The appearance of fruiting bodies on wood (i.e. white/yellow/brown patches)
  • Musty scent and Concentrated spore dust
  • Damp texture
  • Cobweb-like strands on wood show the appearance of a grey color

How Long Does it Take for the Rot to Do Damage?

Now that everyone is familiar with how dry and wet rot looks on wood, you should also know how long this type of damage can take. So, one of the first things that you need to know is that the overall timing can vary greatly based on a number of different factors. For instance, when you do your research, you will most likely discover that the right conditions must be met. This is also one of the main reasons why everyone needs to know exactly what to look for in advance, particularly since there are some different ways to prevent these issues from escalating out of control.

With this in mind, here are some of the conditions that can help to facilitate these issues.

  • Not enough oxygen
  • Proper temperature (temperatures usually range from between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit),
  • Specifics amount of Moisture inside of the wood

Typically, based on a wide range of lab experiments, it may take approximately 7 to 10 days for dry rot spores to begin to germinate, particularly after the wood is moist enough. Or, on the other hand, if the wood rot is in a 2×4, some researchers in lab groups may say that it takes around 1 to 6 months for the rot to develop. Whatever the case, it is very important that everyone takes the appropriate preventive measures to eliminate to keep the rot from destroying your wooden structures.

How to Control Dry Rot and Wet Rot – Mitigate with the Right Prevention Measures

Even though dry rot and wet rot can be very problematic and costly too, there are a number of different things that you can do to prevent these issues from happening. Therefore, if you know the right measures to take, you mitigate these damages before there are severe problems. Here is just a few preventative measures that you should consider.

Consider Using pressure – Treated Wood for your Projects in Advance.

If you see any cracks or holes in your wood, you can make the necessary repairs by using caulking in these places. To prevent water leaks inside of your structures, make sure that you are maintaining and repairing your pipes and gutters on a regularly scheduled basis. To protect your wood from the harsh elements, you should hire a professional painting service to paint, seal and stain, your wooden features. To make sure that all of your wooden features stay clean, you can utilize several different types of cleaning measures (i.e. scrub your wooden surfaces or use a power washer to get rid of stains, grime, and stains).


How long does it take for wood rot to develop? As mentioned above, the answer to this question can vary from one type of wood rot problem to another. Since the timing actually depends on the type of problems that exist, the timing can range from about 7 to 10 days to one month and more. Therefore, it is very important that the appropriate prevention measures are in place to mitigate these damages.

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