Have you recently purchased an older home? Have you noticed that something is not quite right with the home and you're wondering if you could possibly have dry rot? Dealing with dry rot can be an expensive process, so it's important to make sure that it's taken care of as soon as possible in order to limit the damage. But since it can share similarities to other types of rot, knowing what to look for is essential to stopping the rot in its tracks. Here are some of the most obvious signs of dry rot:

Damp and musty smell 

Although you can have a damp and musty smell without dry rot, finding dry rot without the smell may be impossible. While sometimes difficult to do with smells, try to figure out where the smell is the strongest and look there for further signs of dry rot. Unfortunately, dry rot repair may require opening up walls and ceilings to check for the presence of dry rot within the studs.

Wood that looks old 

One of the reasons why dry rot is called dry rot is because it's able to draw moisture from within the wood itself instead of relying on a source of water like a leaky pipe. Not only does this allow dry rot to travel extensively within a house, thus making dry rot repair costly, it also gives the infected wood a very distinctive look. Wood that is in the process of being eaten by dry rot will have many cracks running both with the grain and against it as the wood dries out and shrinks. The appearance will be similar to a piece of wood that has been through a fire, but wood with dry rot will not turn black like fire-burned wood. If you touch the damaged wood, it will be very brittle and may crumble easily.

Orange dust 

For heavy dry rot infestations, one huge indicator that you are dealing with dry rot and not something else is the presence of an accumulating layer of brownish orange dust. It may look similar to wood dust created by termites, but it will start to coat everything instead of being confined to one location. This orange dust is made up of the spores of the dry rot fungus as it attempts to reproduce itself. The more dust of this color that you see, the more extensive the dry rot repair will need to be. 

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