"Dry rot" is a term that refers to wood decay caused by fungi. The fungi eats away at structural timber without the need for any significant moisture. It causes the wood to become brittle and to crumble into a dry powder.
Dry rot will show up in those areas of a structure susceptible to water intrusion--roofs, windows, exterior stairs, balconies, improper clothes washer installations, and slow plumbing leaks in walls. The damage can be extensive and the repairs costly. Once the fungus infects wood, it spreads and disintegrates wood as it goes. Most often, the infected wood must be removed and replaced.
To avoid dry rot, the wood in a structure must be kept completely dry. That means instituting a regular inspection and maintenance program of repairing roofs, caulking windows and waterproofing balcony decks. In addition, proper reserves must be established for eventual replacement of major components (roofs, balcony waterproofing, etc.).
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