Dry Rot Damage

Dry Rot Damage

The Causes of Dry Rot Damage 

Controlling Dry Rot Infestations

Dry rot can be very damaging to your home and will only get worse if left untreated. Many homes throughout the country are impacted by dry rot and require wood replacement, which accounts for almost 10% of the annual wood production across the United States. 

It’s important to be able to identify dry rot as it can be extremely damaging to your home. Our experts at MidAmerica Basement Systems can get rid of your dry rot problem and provide solutions that will prevent it from happening in the future. 

We gladly provide free quotes throughout Illinois and Iowa, including Bettendorf, Pekin, Marion, Freeport, Waterloo, Muscatine, Galesburg and areas nearby. If you have a dry rot problem in your home and would like more information, contact us today!

dry rot wood damage

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

What is Dry Rot?

Dry rot, also known as brown rot, is known for being very dry and having a cracked look on the surface. It originates from Serpula Lacrymans, a fungus known for its brown rot characteristics. The difference between dry rot and other fungi is that it can survive on much less water compared to others. Moisture is typically a big component for fungus to survive, but dry rot can survive with about 70% less moisture compared to other fungi. 

Protect Your Home From Dry Rot

The Bad News

  • Dry rot can have a severe impact on the structural integrity of your home. It can weaken the wood beams that support your home and make them susceptible to breakage. 
  • The spores of dry rot can exist in a home for a long time before it finds the right conditions to start growing.
  • Dry rot can grow though many different types of surfaces, including mortar, concrete, masonry, and plaster.

The Good News

  • In order to produce spores, dry rot does need some moisture and humidity. If you’ve taken precautions to reduce the moisture and humidity in your home, it will help prevent dry rot spores. 
  • Dehumidifying your basement or crawl space can quickly help get rid of dry rot and other fungi.
  • There are wood treatments available, such as boric acid, to help prevent dry rot from growing. 

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

How to Identify Dry Rot Problems

Different types of fungi can have many different looks. Dry rot spores appear similar to red brick dust as it sits on the surface. This is often the first sign of dry rot as it waits for the right conditions to grow. From there, it appears as brown, dry, cracked wood as it grows. 

Dry rot typically grows several months after the water damage incident has occurred. It’s very common in moist places and can appear in vented crawl spaces or water damaged basements. It can take homeowners several months to identify dry rot, which can be too late after most of the damage has been done. If this happens, we recommend the following steps: 

Steps to Dry Rot Cleaning & Repair

  1. Remove Damaged Wood: Remove all wood that is damaged by dry rot, as well as all wood within one meter of the damaged wood. 
  2. Remove Materials Near Damage: Materials like plaster, paneling, linings, and ceilings around the damaged wood should also be removed. 
  3. Wire Brush Affected Area: A wire brush works best to remove the loose material as well as the dust and debris. 
  4. Disinfect area: Use a disinfectant to clean all areas within 1.5 meters from the damage.
  5. Rebuild: Rebuild all damaged wood with pressure-treated wood.


To prevent dry rot in a basement, you must first remove all standing water. Once standing water is removed, the air must be constantly dry. Vapor barriers and dehumidifiers are important to install in order to keep the air in your basement dry. 

To prevent dry rot in a crawl space, the vents must be sealed to prevent any moist air from entering. The next step is to encapsulate the crawl space and install a dehumidifier to keep the air completely dry.

Preventing Dry Rot in Your Basement or Crawl Space

Our experts at MidAmerica Basement Systems are here to help keep your basement and crawl space dry at all times to prevent water damage. By doing so, you’ll be safe from dry rot and other fungi that can grow in moist environments.

Contact us for your free estimate! We service Illinois and Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, Peoria, Waterloo, Davenport and nearby areas such as Normal, Iowa City, Dubuque, Rock Island, Clinton, Moline, East Peoria.

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

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MidAmerica Basement Systems
4525 Buckeye Street
Davenport, IA 52802