Each year decay fungi cause just as much damage to homes and businesses as termites.
Mold and fungi are living organisms and need air, food and water to survive. These wood destroying organisms food source if often times the wood in our homes. However to inhibit the growth of the mold and mildew we can eliminate the moisture on which they thrive. As long as they have water, no amount of fungicides will rid the wood of infection. If the moisture can not be removed, the wood should be replaced with dry lumber. If the wood is in an area where it is subjected to moist conditions then pressure treated wood should be used. Taking care to carefully inspect and assess any possible damage is imperative, as the wood that these organisms infest may be greatly weakened even before the decay can be seen.
As white rot infests wood it causes the break down of both the lignin (a chemical compound that is an integral part of the cell walls) and cellulose (a primary structural component of plants). This break down causes the wood to lose its color and it will appear whiter than normal. White Rot will not crack wood but will severely damaged the wood causing it to shrink and collapse. This organism generally attacks hardwood materials, causing it to gradually lose its strength and become spongy to the touch.
Wood infested with brown rot acquires a brownish stain and shrinks abnormally during drying. The result is cracks that run perpendicular to the wood grain. It attacks the wood’s sugars and starches, mostly infecting soft wood. Many decay fungi grow for long periods without producing any external evidence of their presence, however Brown Rot produces “fruiting bodies” on the surface of the of infected wood. These fruiting bodies produce millions of tiny spores which serve to spread the decay fungus to other areas.
A licensed professional should be consulted when dealing with mold and mildew as often times it causes illness in individuals who are sensitive to it. A professional can assess the situation, and formulate a plan of action that is appropriate to treat your infestation. This professional will also be able to determine if there is any structural damage, and make necessary repairs.