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Learn About The Differences In Termite Damage Vs Wood Rot

Many homeowners are unsure about the differences in termite damage and wood rot. Both can cause serious problems for your home, but they are quite different. Here is some information that can help you understand the contrast between these types of wood destruction:

What Is The Wood Rot?

A type of fungi damage that affects the wood. It happens when excess oxygen and moisture are found around the wood that leading to fungi. The fungi will consume the wood, which will weaken it and make it more susceptible to further damage.

More often than not, wood rot will occur on the exterior of your home. This is because the conditions that are necessary for fungi to grow are more prevalent outdoors. However, wood rot can occur indoors as well if there is enough moisture present.

What Is Termite Damage?

Termites are tiny insects in the same family as wood-eating cockroaches (though they look like white ants). These insects feed on wood and paper, including the wooden supports and posts that make up most homes and businesses. This can lead to serious damage over time, as the insects eat away at the wood until it is weakened and can no longer support the weight of the building.

Termites eat the wood in your house, and termite damage can destroy the wood. If you have termite damage, you may notice small holes in the wood, or even see the insects themselves. You can often find termites near water sources, such as leaks in your roof or foundation.

Best Ways To Identify Termite Damage Vs. Wood Rot

There are usually a few indicators as to which type of damage you’re dealing with. If you’re seeing small holes in the wood, this is a sign of termite damage. Wood rot will usually cause the wood to become soft and spongy, and you may see fungal growth on the surface.

Feel the Wood

One of the best ways to tell the difference is to simply feel the wood. If it feels soft or spongy, you likely have wood rot. Termites usually leave the outer layer of wood intact, so if it feels hard, you’re probably dealing with termite damage.

If you’re checking for evidence of fungi, look for any small black spots on the wood and pay attention to whether the fungi are growing in a circular pattern. If you’re checking for termites, look for tiny holes in the wood as well as any evidence of the insects themselves.

Pay Attention To Surface Structure

The surface of the wood will also give you some clues. If you see small holes, this is a sign of termite damage. Wood rot will usually cause the wood to warp or crack, and you may even see mushroom growth on the surface.

Check For Organisms

If you see small insects or worms, this is a sign that you have termites. Wood rot will not usually cause insects to appear.

Check For Water Damage

Water damage is often a tell-tale sign of wood rot. If the wood is near a water source, such as a leaky roof or foundation, there’s a good chance to know the damage due to rot.

Check The Damage Against A Reference

Another way to tell the difference is to simply compare the damaged wood to a reference. You can see the damage as uniform and appears to be following the grain of the wood, it’s likely termite damage. Wood rot will usually cause the wood to crack or warp in random patterns.

Causes Of Wood Rot

There are a few different things that can cause wood rot in wooden structures and you need to prevent wood rot.

Dry Wood Rot

Dry wood rot or brown rot is caused by a fungus that attacks the cellulose in the wood. This type of wood rot is often found in older homes, as the cellulose content of the wood decreases with age. A few conditions that cause dry rot include:

  • Excess moisture causes wood to swell and the fibers to separate, creating tiny cracks that provide entry for water and fungi.
  • Oxygen is necessary for the fungi to grow, so dry rot is often found in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Temperature fluctuations cause the wood to expand and contract, which can lead to cracks and allow fungi to enter.
  • Decaying wood or rotten wood is more susceptible to dry rot, as the fungi can enter through cracks and holes.
  • Dry rot spores are often found in the air, so any home is at risk.

Wet Wood Rot

Wet wood rot is caused by a different type of fungus that attacks the lignin in the wood. This type of rot is often found in homes that have been damaged by water, as the lignin is more susceptible to wood decay when it’s wet.

If you’re seeing signs of wet rot, it’s important to find the source of the moisture and fix it, unlike dry rot. Wood rot can be caused by several things, including

  • Roof damage can allow water to enter the home, which can lead to wood rot.
  • Plumbing system leaks lead to dampness and leaking pipes can promote the growth of wood rot.
  • Bath and shower trays that are not properly sealed can allow water to seep into the floor, which can lead to wood rot.
  • Dampness penetrating the walls of the home from the outside can also lead to wood rot.
  • Condensation can also cause wood rot, so it’s important to keep the home well ventilated.
  • If you have blocked or leaky gutters, this can also lead to wood rot as the water will seep into the home.

Causes Of Termite Damage

There are a few things that can attract termites to your home, and you need to be aware of termite infestation.

Local Climate

If you live in an area that is more prone to termite infestations, it’s important to be aware of the signs of termite damage. Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home, so it’s important to catch them early. Look for tiny holes in the wood, evidence of the insects themselves, and any other signs of damage.

Moisture 

This is especially important to keep in mind if you live in a region that is prone to termite infestations. Make sure to check for any water damage, and fix any leaks or plumbing problems that you may have. You should also keep your gutters clean and free of debris, as blocked gutters can lead to water accumulation and attract termites.

Cracks In Your Foundation

If you have any gaps or cracks in your foundation, subterranean termites will channel through them in search of food, and they are likely to find it in your home. You can fill these gaps and cracks with a sealant to prevent the termites from entering.

Wood Touching

If you have any wood touching your home, the termites may be attracted to it. Make sure to keep all of your wood-trimmed and away from your home, and seal any cracks or gaps in your foundation to prevent them from entering.

Unnoticed

If you have any leaks in your home that you’re not aware of, this can also attract termites. Be sure to check for any water damage, and fix any leaks or plumbing problems that you may have.

Treatment For Termite Damage Vs Wood Rot

The first step in treating wood rot is to remove the source of moisture. This can be done by fixing any leaks or plumbing problems, and ensuring that the home is well ventilated. Once the source of moisture has been removed, the affected areas can be dried out and treated with a fungicide.

If you have termite-damaged, you’ll need to call in a professional to assess the situation and recommend a course of treatment. This may involve using baits or traps, or treated rotted wood to kill the termite colonies. In severe cases, fumigation may be necessary.

This is an important thing to remember if you think you may have a termite problem or wood rot damage. Both of them can cause a lot of damage before you even realize they’re there, so it’s important to catch them early. Look for any evidence of termites and wood rot, including tiny holes in the wood or cracks, and take action immediately if you suspect you have an infestation.

Take Action Now

If you think you may have wood rot or termite damage, don’t wait to take action. These problems can cause a lot of damage to your home if left untreated, so it’s important to catch them early. If you suspect you have an infestation, call in our professional to assess the situation and recommend a course of treatment.

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