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Unfortunately our society has been taught to take better care of our cars than our homes. Dry rot refers to wood decay caused by certain species of mold also known as True Dry Rot that digests parts of the wood which give the wood strength and stiffness. It was previously used to describe any decay of cured wood in ships and buildings by a fungus which resulted in a darkly colored deteriorated and cracked condition.

The early stages of dry rot appear as off-white cotton-like sheets on timber and brick work. The wood begins to darken and crack in a cube-like manner. As the decay continues, it will produce a wet, musty odor.

Later stages include thick, white fungal strands, a brick-red coloring and deep cracks along the grain of the wood. Mycelium, the thick fungal strands, develop in more humid conditions, while a silky gray skin with lilac and yellow colored patches appears in less humid locations. The red coloring comes from spore dust and usually is seen around fruiting bodies, soft orange-ochre colored surfaces with wide pores.

Dry rot is most prevalent in window sills and wood that have had severe water damage.  In these cases the dry rotted wood must be totally replaced and thoroughly cleaned with a good fungicide such as UrthPro. Further water intrusion must also be alleviated.

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