Offices In Canastota, New York and Tampa, Florida
Wood Rot and Decay Fungi
More wood is destroyed each year by decay than by all the fires, floods, and termites combined! Commonly called rot, wood destroying fungi need three things to survive: air, water, and food. Since we can't eliminate air and their food is the wood in our homes, the only control mechanism available to us is the elimination of water. Water is the enemy of wood! Although we've all heard the term "dry rot", dry wood will not rot!
The types of wood destroying fungi encountered by pest management professionals and homeowners fall into two basic categories: brown rot and white rot. White rot attacks the cellulose and lignin in the wood, giving the wood an off-white appearance. In the later stages the wood becomes spongy to the touch. White rot typically attacks hardwoods and lacks the cubical checking appearance of brown-rotted wood.
Brown rot commonly attacks softwoods, turning the wood dark brown. In advanced stages of decay, wood attacked by brown rot becomes friable and splits appear across the grain, giving the wood a "checkerboard" appearance. Infested wood may be structurally weakened in a relatively short period of time.
Once brown rot has extracted all of the nutrients from the wood, the wood may become dry and powdery. This leaves the impression that dry wood has rotted (dry rot) but in reality it is an old infestation of brown rot.
One of the most destructive types of brown rot fungi is poria incrassata; otherwise know as the water-conducting fungus. This type of fungus actually transports water through root-like structures known as rhizomorphs. Infestations of poria incrassata can progress quite rapidly destroying portions of flooring and wood members in a year or two.
Many people confuse the presence of molds with decay fungi. Although molds are a form of fungi, they typically grow on the surface of wood and generally do not weaken the wood's strength. However, the presence of mold is a good indication that the moisture level in the wood is high enough to also support the growth of decay fungi. Moisture control methods used to prevent decay fungi will also remove conditions favorable for mold growth.
Chemical Control Methods
Borates are used for treating wood for decay fungi including brown and white rot. If there are rotten logs that need to be repaired we will use a chainsaw and chisel to remove the rot. Then a borate paste is applied to harden the rotten area. Borate is a naturally occuring chemical compound (wood perservative and insecticide). Many other perservatives on the market are harmful to apply and will pollute the environment. Finally, a custom log piece will be fabricated and fitted.