Rotting wood and termite infestation look similar and are both pretty serious causes of damage to any structure that is made out of wood. Although they share these similarities, they are quite different in the way you should treat them. In order to be sure that you aren’t wasting time and resources, read on to familiarize yourself with the difference so that you can be well equipped if any of these problems come along.
Don’t be surprised if you find that you may have both an infestation and wood decay. Termite and carpenter ants are attracted to wood that has already been softened thanks to moisture. They’ll burrow into the wood itself, and when you knock on it, it will sound very hollow as they have eaten away at the wood. You could also notice a wavy pattern left behind by the termite activity. The termites weaken the structure by eating and burrowing in the wood.
Rotten Wood Types
Dry rot is caused by certain fungi that feed off of wood. If you suspect a dry rot decay, the wood will feel dry and even look dusty. The dusty look is from the wood dying and breaking off little by little. It can crack and crumble very easily when touched. This can be dangerous as the strength of the wood is compromised by fungi. In some instances, the wood must be completely replaced.
Wet rotted wood will look darker and feel soft and almost spongy. Because of the moisture, you’ll be able to spot mold growing on the wood itself. The wet rot will also emit a musty odor. This is common in areas with a high amount of moisture in the air or with areas that are often wet such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Treating the Problem
If you’re not particularly familiar with dealing with termite infestation or wood rots, consult a professional who can properly assess the problem. If you are confident enough to tell the difference, there are do-it-yourself options available to you. For wet rot, you remove the source of moisture. You could try investing in a dehumidifier for the area affected. For dry rot, you could treat what is salvageable with a fungicide. For termites, you should contact a professional termite exterminator in order to fully rid your structure of termites.