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Wood Rot

Wood rot is one of the most devastating problem signs in your crawl space. It can cause your floors to collapse and contribute to mold growth.

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West Virginia experiences an above average amount of rainfall every year. Additionally, the summer months provide their share of sticky, humid days. Both of these factors contribute to wood rot in an unprotected crawl space. Over time, moisture permeates wooden beams supporting the floors and walls of your home, causing them to decay and become weak. Thankfully, Basement Authority of West Virginia has the tools and experience to protect your crawl space and home.

Conditions That Can Lead to Wood Rot

Wood rot occurs when excess moisture overtakes a wooden structure. As the moisture is absorbed into the wood, it becomes soft, fragile, or brittle –leading to a decrease in durability and strength.

Humidity

Humidity is a major problem for exposed wood as wood rot is likely to occur in a humid environment. Since crawl space beams are located underneath your home, they’re constantly exposed to the weather conditions of the outside world. If summer days are particularly muggy, tons of moisture can get into your crawl space and be absorbed by wood. Even worse, when humidity gets below your crawl space, it has a hard time getting out. That means the wooden structures below your home will essentially be marinating in humid air. Eventually, the wood beams will become weak as they absorb more and more water vapor.

condensation on wood

Condensation

Condensation is actually a side effect of humid air, and it can cause wood rot to form even quicker. This phenomenon occurs when air can no longer contain the water vapor within it. Furthermore, it’s important to note that cold air holds less water vapor than warm air. Since the air in your crawl space is naturally cooler than the outside air, a rise in humidity means water vapor will turn into condensation very quickly.

Open Crawl Space Vents

You might be wondering how humid air gets into your crawl space in the first place. Most crawl spaces are built with open vents across their foundation walls. In the past, it was thought that these vents would allow humid air to escape and keep the crawl space cool and dry. Unfortunately, these open vents have the complete opposite effect. Due to their design, open vents actually make it much easier for humidity to infiltrate your crawl space. In fact, open vents make it so that your crawl space air essentially emulates the conditions outside. This can spell disaster for your crawl space on particularly humid or rainy days.

FAQs

No. Even though wood rot is a type of fungus, it does not affect human bodies in a negative way. Wood rot below your crawl space is not going to cause serious allergic reactions or respiratory issues. However, wood rot can indicate mold grow this on the way (or already started). Mold is harmful to humans and can travel into your home from your crawl space. If you notice wood rot, we advise you to act quickly to avoid any risk of mold growth.

Unfortunately, you can’t repair rotted wood. Once wood rot has taken place, the structural integrity of the wood has been compromised. You might be tempted to replace wood that has suffered from wood rot. While this might offer a temporary solution, the same process is going to take place over time. New wood will be exposed to humidity just like before. Since wood is an organic material, it’s hard to avoid this issue even if you replace rotted pieces. The fact is wood rot can only be prevented with professional measures that keep your crawl space protected.

Beyond simply destroying wood structures in your home, wood rot has the potential to cause further problems for your crawl space and home. First of all, rotted wooden beams lead to sagging floors in your home. This can cause detached floorboards or wall cracks throughout the living space. Plus, your crawl space contains many important systems that your home relies on to function properly. This includes electric wiring, insulation, and plumbing. If wood rot destroys wooden beams in your crawl space, they have the capacity to damage these other systems if they collapse. Unfortunately, wood rot isn’t an isolated issue in your crawl space.

Basement Authority of West Virginia is committed to providing quality service to residents of Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Wheeling, and nearby. We have expert knowledge and solutions to keep your crawl space protected from even the nastiest storms and muggiest days of the year. Every homeowner deserves to have a properly functioning home, and that includes a healthy crawl space. If you want to learn more about our crawl space services, or you simply want to set up an appointment for a free inspection, contact us today. Your health and safety are important to us, and we will provide you with the right solutions that work best for your individual needs!

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Clarksburg, WV

1807 West Pike Street Ste C
Clarksburg, WV 26301