When you have a wooden deck or porch, it lends you hours of endless entertaining space. Especially when you live in a place with a pleasant climate like we do in California. Whenever you have a wooden structure, there is always a risk of dry rot or termite infestation. These two issues can look very similar to each other and it is hard to know what you’re dealing with if you aren’t experienced. McKay’s Painting is here to talk about the differences between the two so you know what is going on with your deck and what to watch out for in the future.
Deck Joists Rotting Due to Wood Dry Rot
Wood rot is nothing that you would want to see on your deck. Dry rot is a form of wood rot that can leave the structure weakened. It is caused by certain types of fungi. This fungi can weaken the strong areas in the wood by consumption and leave you with extensive damage. It is also important to note that even if you don’t have any wood that has been damaged by water, you can still experience dry rot as the fungi can move water from wet areas to dry sections of wood.
Termites in Deck
Termites are a pest that is feared by most homeowners. They can make their way into your structure and thrive there without you even knowing it. They don’t actually live in the wood, but in the ground and travel to the wood to get their meal. They feed on the cellulose in the wood and leave the structure all but hollow when they are finished. Their colony can continually grow larger beneath the earth and they create mud tubes that get them to the wood they are feeding on.
Difference in Wood Damage Appearance
The damage caused by dry rot and termites is often confused. They look somewhat similar, but also have some distinct differences as well. Dry rot usually appears to look like bricks or blocks stacked on top of each other because of the way that the fungi transports water and consumes the wood. Termites often have created the mud tubes and the channels that they create when eating usually appear like branches off a tree trunk. There are large galleries sometimes present as well. Termites will also usually choose to feed on wood that has sustained water damage and is much wetter than wood fungi consume.
Avoid Ground Level Deck Contact with Soil
Both of these issues usually happen because the wood is in contact with the soil in some area. Foundation cracks are a common problem that cause this to happen. If you notice that there are any areas coming in contact with the ground, it is important to have them repaired to avoid these issues.