Earlier I wrote two posts (Part 1 ad Part 2) on the terms: “pest and dry rot.” I detailed what the inspection was about and what the term “pest” might mean. Now I will try to describe the term “dry rot.”
In the real estate world any rot or deterioration refers to dry rot. The term is a bit confusing because all fungal deterioration requires moisture. The term dry rot actually refers a very specialized fungus that actually consumes wood that is dry or does not have a available water source. The fungus actually grows hyphie (root like structures) up to 8 feet long! These root structures reach out from the dry piece of wood into the ground and collect and shuttle water to the dry piece of wood.
This type of fungus is very unusual around Salem, Oregon and I have only seen it twice in 5 years of inspecting homes!
Most all of the deterioration that I see is caused by a white rot or a brown rot. Both are fungi and both require direct and chronic exposure to moisture to allow them to consume the cellulose or lignin in the wood.
I know, I know this is earth shattering news. But you can see why I prefer to call damaged wood: “deterioration” rather than “Dry Rot.”