In our Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi service area, there are two forms of wood rot that we primarily see. They are white rot and brown rot. These two types of fungi work to completely break down wood and return the wood to the soil. If they are breaking down wood on your deck, porch, garage, barn, home, or some other structure on your property, this can quickly become a dangerous situation. Over time, structural timbers being eaten by fungi begin to lose their integrity and put a strain on other timbers and cause warping to occur. Given enough time, the wood can fail and cause a collapse. This process can be sped up if subterranean termites, carpenter ants, or some other wood-damaging pest become involved, which is often the case (especially when white rot is the culprit). Let's take a look at these two forms of fungus and discuss how you can tell them apart and what they can do to your home.
White rot is the worst of the two fungi we are going to discuss. White rot eats away at the lignin in wood and leaves the cellulose, which is white. Cellulose is a carbohydrate that many insects and small animals feed on. The last thing you want is sections of your home to be exposed that pests find extremely appetizing. This will create a compound problem. The white rot will be working to turn your wood into mealy, breakable white powder and pests will be tunneling into it or chewing holes through it.
When this fungus attacks wood, it eats away at the cellulose and leaves the lignin, which is brown, and the wood will eventually start looking like mulch. Wood that is converted to lignin will not be as appetizing to pests but lignin is a material that helps with the retention of water. If rainwater finds its way into wood that has brown rot, it's going to be held in. This can result in plant seeds taking root in the wood and increases the potential for a break or a collapse.
How To Prevent Fungus
It is never good when fungi feed on the wood of a home. This is why almost all homes have gutter systems. Gutters channel water away from the exterior walls of homes to prevent oversaturation of perimeter soil, which can lead to high humidity and the attachment of fungi. Make sure your gutters are doing their job and if you need assistance with pest control for wood-destroying organisms, let us know. The team at Havard is standing by to help you protect your property.