Dry Rot: What is it and How Will It Affect My Roof?

Roofing contractors of Washington share about dry rot and its solutions.

Prevent the Silent Destruction of Roof Decking Rot

Like most parts of a home, the roof that does its job is rarely inspected. Unlike certain other parts of the home, an unnoticed problem can devalue a home for sale and can cause severe structural issues. Roof rot can be addressed and the problem can be fixed, and careful roofing maintenance can help prevent the need for roofing replacement.

Defining Roof Rot

While roofing tiles are meant to be waterproof materials such as asphalt, clay, composite, or metal, the support structure of a roof is typically entirely wooden, the exception being perhaps support structures for commercial roofing. Not only does this include the trusses and beams that make up the attic, but the sublayer directly underneath the titles, called the roof decking or roof sheathing, is also wooden, usually sheets of plywood of the like. 

If roof leaks show up and moisture exposure is repeatedly infiltrating the wood, wood rot is going to develop. Dry rot is caused by the growth of various types of fungi on the wood. Dry rot does not need a constantly wet surface, but warm and moist air will help it thrive. 

Identifying the Signs of Roof Rot

Roofers don’t recommend peeling up your roof tiles to inspect for damage, but there are identifying marks of roof rot that can be looked for both on the inside of the house and the outside. The following is a list of signs associated with the onset of roof sheathing rot:

  • Cracked wood
  • White Fungal growth
  • Mushroom-like growth
  • Weak and crumbling wood
  • Spongy texture
  • Dark stains on the wood
  • Bulging or sunken areas
  • Roof Leaks

What Does it Do to a Roof?

If it were only about the unsightly nature of this particular problem, it wouldn’t be worth the discussion.  Dry rot is not just a matter of aesthetics; it can cause real damage to a home.

What can dry rot do to a roof?  The devastation is listed below:

  • Cracks Beams: Fibrous tendrils are extended by the fungus which cracks through the very wood itself.
  • Weakens Support Structure:  The wood becomes crumbly and can easily be scraped free by hand. This means it is easier for leaks to develop and for structure collapse

 Moves Quickly: Dry rot spreads quickly. This increases the chance of expensive damage if it is not caught quickly.

  • Self-propagating:  Because it does damage that can lead to leaks and further damage, it begins a vicious cycle that can only be stopped by a complete reconstruction.
  • Devalues the Home: A home with roof rot is nearly impossible to sell.

How Do You Fix It?

Unfortunately, there is no instant repair for roof rot. The affected sections must be completely removed and replaced. This can be either a partial roof repair or an entire roof replacement.  Having a professional roof inspection can be the first step toward prevention or repair. Catching leaks and having roof leak repair done before rot sets in is the ultimate preventative.

About Cobalt Exteriors

Are you in need of reliable roofing or siding contractors? Call Cobalt Exteriors for a consultation in the Woodinville, WA area. They provide solutions for all exterior home issues from installs to repairs.