Home Mold in MA, including Lowell, Boston & Lynn.
Mold Removal

Dry Rot & Brown Rot in Greater Boston Basements & Crawl Spaces

Dry rot damaging wood in Salem

Damage from dry rot creates small, rectangular pieces of crumbling wood on the surface.

Dry rot damage is often mistaken as from a termite damage, due to the appearance of the damaged wood.

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

Approximately 20 billion board feet of timber is destroyed by wood rot in the United States each year -- far more destroyed wood than is damaged annually by fire!

Replacement wood used to repair damage caused by wood rot accounts for almost 10 percent of the annual wood production in the U.S. alone.

In the United Kingdom, dry rot problems have been credited for dealing about 150 million pounds worth of damage annually, and wood rot in general leads to about 17 billion dollars of damage each year in the United States.

Basement Systems has a long history of experience in eliminating, preventing, and controlling dry rot in homes throughout Massachusetts, including Revere, Peabody, Medford, Arlington, Salem, Beverly, Methuen and areas nearby.

If you have a dry rot problem in your home and would like more information, contact us by phone or e-mail today for a free dry rot control estimate!

What is Dry Rot & Brown Rot?

"Dry Rot" is a term most often used to describe a particular kind of dry, cracking, rotting wood. However, dry rot occurs because of a variety of brown rot species, most notably the "true" dry rot fungus known as Serpula lacrymans. Dry Rot originally got its name from the thought that it didn't need water to live, but instead used a fermentation process to survive. Research long ago proved that theory untrue, and dry rot is now more appropriately called "brown rot."

Dry rot needs much less moisture than other types of wood-rotting fungi -- a wood moisture content of just 28-30% -- to survive. While there is no official proof on the subject, many contractors have observed that dry rot also will not grow on wood with too much moisture.

Protect Your Home From Dry Rot!

The Bad News
The Good News
  • While dry rot is not the most common type of rot, it can deal serious damage to your home and endure conditions that are too dry for other types of rot to thrive.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Wood severely damaged by dry rot damage in Everett

The USDA Forest Service reports that just a 1% decrease in the weight of dry-rot-damaged wood can lead to a 75% loss of its the wood's toughness overall.

Identifying & Treating Dry Rot or Brown Rot Problems in Massachusetts

A common first indication of dry rot in a home is the appearance of a "red brick dust".

This red dust is actually an accumulation of fungal spores that are covering the surface, waiting for the proper conditions to start to grow.

When Does Dry Rot Damage Occur?

An outbreak of dry rot commonly occurs several months after a household water event, such as flooding, bursting washing machine hoses, a failed water heater, or leaking pipes. In some cases, water or moisture may have been trapped in a building cavity as the home was being built.

Dry rot is also common in vented crawl spaces and basements with groundwater flooding. It's often not detected until the damage is already very significant.

Steps to Dry Rot Cleaning & Repair

  1. Remove 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.
  2. Remove Materials Near Damage: Plaster, paneling, linings, and ceilings around the dry rot areas can also contribute to the damage and should also be removed.
  3. Wire 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.
  4. Disinfect area: A disinfectant is applied to all wood, masonry, and exposed soil in within 1.5 meters from the damage.
  5. Rebuild: Substantially rot-damaged beams, joists, and posts are replaced with pressure-treated wood.

Preventing 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)

Preventing 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.

Permanent Solutions for Dry Rot Problems in Your Basement or Crawl Space

Basement Systems can help you eliminate dry rot problems at their source. We can dry your basement or crawl space, eliminate flooding problems, and seal out humidity.

This not only eliminates dry rot problems, but also creates an environment that is inhospitable to mold problems, wet rot, and mildew, while helping to keep out termites, carpenter ants, cockroaches, crickets, and other household pests. Crawl space sealing products can also do double duty as insulation, providing you with added energy efficiency.

We offer FREE, no-obligation dry basement and crawl space quotes in our service area. We can answer all your questions and point out the sources of humidity and moisture in your home.

We service Massachusetts, including Boston, Lowell, Cambridge and nearby areas such as Lynn, Somerville, Lawrence, Framingham, Waltham, Haverhill, Malden.

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

Serving MA including the Greater Boston area
Cities in Essex County, MA
Amesbury
Andover
Beverly
Boxford
Byfield
Danvers
Essex
Georgetown
Gloucester
Groveland
Hamilton
Hathorne
Haverhill
Ipswich
Lawrence
Lynn
Lynnfield
Manchester
Marblehead
Merrimac
Methuen
Middleton
Nahant
Newbury
Newburyport
North Andover
Peabody
Prides Crossing
Rockport
Rowley
Salem
Salisbury
Saugus
South Hamilton
Swampscott
Topsfield
Wenham
West Boxford

Cities in Middlesex County, MA
Acton
Arlington
Arlington Heights
Ashby
Ashland
Auburndale
Ayer
Bedford
Belmont
Billerica
Boxborough
Burlington
Cambridge
Carlisle
Chelmsford
Chestnut Hill
Concord
Devens
Dracut
Dunstable
Everett
Framingham
Groton
Hanscom Afb
Holliston
Hopkinton
Hudson
Lexington
Lincoln
Littleton
Lowell
Malden
Marlborough
Maynard
Medford
Melrose
Natick
New Town
Newton
Newton Center
Newton Highlands
Newton Lower Falls
Newton Upper Falls
Newtonville
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North Reading
North Waltham
Nutting Lake
Pepperell
Pinehurst
Reading
Sherborn
Shirley
Somerville
Stoneham
Stow
Sudbury
Tewksbury
Townsend
Tyngsboro
Waban
Wakefield
Waltham
Watertown
Waverley
Wayland
West Groton
West Medford
West Newton
West Townsend
Westford
Weston
Wilmington
Winchester
Woburn
Woodville

Cities in Suffolk County, MA
Boston
Charlestown
Chelsea
East Boston
Revere
South Boston
Winthrop

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