Wood Decay Detection and Guide for Maryland Home Owners
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Maryland Handyman Home Page > Resource Center > Wood Decay

Detecting Wood Decay in the Home

Wood decay...no one likes it and for home owners it can be a constant concern. Learning how to identify it early will save you lots of money. Decay of wood in buildings is a problem in moist, humid regions. Moisture in some form is necessary for the growth of fungi that cause rot. A fungus sends minute threads, called mycelia, through damp wood, taking its food from wood as it grows. The visible body of the fungus is on the outside surface of the wood. This is called the fruiting body, and, when mature, it produces millions of tiny spores (seeds) that are present in the air and soil. A musty odor may be encountered inside a building or crawl space.  

Decay enhancing building practices include indoor plumbing, weatherization, shorter roof overhangs, slab construction, building membranes and air conditioning. Changes affecting decay are decreased heartwood durability, increased composite use, changing designs and chemical attitudes. In many cases, with bathroom or kitchen updates moisture tends to be covered up rather than corrected. A thorough inspection is necessary to locate and identify this problem.

We hope that you have found this article helpful. Please contact us if you have questions. This article is to give you an idea of what to look for. It is always recommended that you hire or consult with a professional and licensed contractor.

American Construction Services - Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
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Phone: (410) 351.7420 or (410) 351.0080