Rotting wood creates an unstable foundation for your home, which means structural beams, flooring, and ceilings may need some major renovations. Once wood rot begins, the structure of your home can quickly fall into decline, and it can be difficult to control the problem without taking drastic measures. That’s why most experts recommend focusing on prevention: worrying about how to stop wood rot before it happens. And what’s the key component leading to wood rot that we can control? Moisture.
Fungus and Wood Rot
Wood rot occurs when fungi breed on a wood surface, which can only happen if the wood is wet. Any type of fungus needs a few things to live: water, oxygen, and food. And the type of fungi that wear down wood get their food source from the carbohydrates therein. There are three basic types of wood rot—brown rot (or dryrot), white rot, and soft rot—and all three are caused by the presence of moisture, oxygen, and a food source. The only difference is in the appearance and the effect on the wood. Brown rot, for example, causes the wood to turn dark brown and eventually crumble. White rot leaves wood with a soft spongy feeling.
Installing a Dehumidifier
All wood contains the carbohydrates lignin and cellulose, so you cannot prevent wood rot by choosing different building materials. You can’t take away the oxygen either, which is why removing moisture from the air is the best mode of prevention. And a whole-home dehumidifier is the best way to reduce moisture levels in the home.
Dehumidifiers remove moisture much like central air conditioners do. The blower fan draws in the indoor air and moves it across a coil where moisture collects as condensation. The major difference is that it’s far more efficient to run a whole-house dehumidifier than to keep the AC on at all times. A dehumidifier can make the air in your home feel more comfortable and help people to cool down. It can also keep mold from developing, a fungus which does not directly cause wood rot but can contribute to poor indoor air quality.