Wood Rot

Wood Rot

Don’t Let Wood Rot Lead to More Damage!

In Davenport, wood rot is a major threat to your crawl space and your home’s structure, and is typically caused by moisture infiltration. Here at MidAmerica Basement Systems, we offer the best crawl space repair and waterproofing in Davenport, to control and fix wood rot. Most home support beams are made from wood, and when that wood comes in contact with moisture, it can decay and rot, leading to structural issues over time. Wood rot in Davenport is a common and costly problem across the globe, but with the right crawl space solutions in place, you can avoid these issues.

If you have moisture or humidity in your crawl space, or have a dry rot problem in your home, get in touch with us right away. Schedule your free estimate at 1-888-703-3555.

Protect Your Home From Dry Rot!

The Bad News

  • While dry rot is not the most common type of wood rot in Davenport, it can deal serious damage to your home and endure conditions that are too dry for other types of rot to thrive. In fact, up to a 75% loss in the toughness of the wood is possible with just a 1% decrease in the wood's weight of the wood.
  • Dry rot fungus spores are present in most homes and can survive for several years, waiting for the right conditions to grow.
  • Dry rot can pull moisture from moist areas to dry areas. It grows through mortar, concrete, masonry, and behind plaster.

The Good News

  • Despite its name, dry rot needs moisture to produce spores-- at least 28-30% moisture content within the wood with a relative humidity of 95% or higher. Most softwood timbers in dry homes, especially in the upper levels, have a moisture content of 12-15%.
  • Dry rot problems in basements and crawl spaces can easily be solved by controlling moisture by sealing and dehumidifying the space.
  • Treatment of the wood products such as boric acid is known to eliminate and prevent dry root fungi.

What is Dry Rot & Brown Rot?

Dry rot is a term typically used to describe a certain kind of cracking, rotting wood, and is caused by a variety of fungus, most notably Serpula Lacrymans. Despite the name, dry rot needs moisture in order to grow and produce spores (at least 28-30% moisture in the wood with a relative humidity of 95% or higher). Because it technically needs moisture, many people now call this phenomenon “brown rot” instead of dry rot. 


Dry rot (also known as brown rot) is one of the most damaging forces on household wood in the world.

Identifying & Treating Dry Rot or Brown Rot Problems in Illinois and Iowa

Typically, dry rot first appears as a reddish dust, which is actually an accumulation of fungal spores. Outbreaks of dry rot often occur a few months following a household flood event such as a burst pipe or failed water heater. Dry rot is common in basements and crawl spaces, and is often not detected until significant damage is underway. MidAmerica Basement Systems recommends the following steps for fixing dry rot:

  • Remove all visibly damaged wood and wood within 1 meter of it
  • Remove other nearby materials, such as drywall, plaster, linings, and ceilings
  • Wire brush clean affected area, including pipes and masonry, and remove all dust and debris
  • Disinfect all wood, masonry, and materials within 1.5 meters of affected area
  • Rebuild using new, pressure-treated wood
  • Prevent future damage by installing vapor barriers and dehumidifiers, where applicable

Damage from dry rot creates small, rectangular pieces of crumbling wood on the surface. Dry rot damage is often mistaken as a termite infestation.

1Remove Damaged Wood

All wood that shows decay or visible fungus should be removed, as well as all wood within one meter of the visible decayed material.

2Remove Materials Near Damage

Plaster, paneling, linings, and ceilings around the dry rot areas can also contribute to the damage and should also be removed.

3Wire Brush Affected Area

Using a wire brush, loose material is removed from all surfaces within 1.5 meters of the furthest edge of the infestation, including metal, masonry, and pipes. Resulting dust and debris is removed as well.

4Disinfect Area

A disinfectant is applied to all wood, masonry, and exposed soil in within 1.5 meters from the damage.


Substantially rot-damaged beams, joists, and posts are replaced with pressure-treated wood.

6Preventing Dry Rot in a Basement

Remove all standing water sources, then install a plastic vapor barrier on the walls and floors. Install a self-draining dehumidifier powerful enough to dry the area. (At least a 100-liter model)

7Preventing Dry Rot in a Crawl Space

Seal off all crawl space vents and door covers. Encapsulate the crawl space with a crawl space liner, then install a self-draining crawl space dehumidifier.

Dry Rot Alert!

Architect's Journal reports that dry rot can grow through damp mortar, concrete, masonry and behind plaster.

This makes remediation of dry rot complicated and expensive, and it can lead to future problems with dry rot if it is not treated properly.

Preventing Dry Rot Problems in Your Basement or Crawl Space

MidAmerica Basement Systems is here to help you eliminate dry rot in your Davenport home. We can clean and waterproof your crawl space and basement with ease. Call us today at 1-888-703-3555 for your free no-obligation quote! 

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

our service area

We serve the following areas

IllinoisIowa Our Locations:

MidAmerica Basement Systems
4525 Buckeye Street
Davenport, IA 52802