Dry Rot – Maintenance is Cheaper than Repair
The largest financial impact of a WDO report is almost never driven by termites. It’s typically powered by dry rot. So what is dry rot?
Wikipedia defines it as follows:
“Dry rot is wood decay caused by certain species of fungi that digest 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.”
Dry rot is not uncommon, it damages wood slowly and can be detrimental to a real estate deal if it is discovered unexpectedly. Often times paint will be applied right over wood that is already infected, this not only conceals the damage and makes it more difficult to discover, it also captures the moisture content where the fungus growth exists and can accelerate the decay process.
Some of the best advice that I have ever received was from my father- he told me that “maintenance is cheaper than repair.” At the time he was referring to my neglected oil in my first car, but the advice rings true in so many facets of everyday life. It’s a great idea to have the exterior of your home painted every 5-7 years (depending on climate and weather exposure), a reputable, professional painter will not paint over dry rot if they discover it.
Going a step further, it is also a good practice to have a reputable termite company perform an inspection every few years to identify wood destroying organisms. Coupling up these two preventative maintenance ideas could save you a lot of angst and potential frustration during the process of selling your home!