Crawl Space Moisture

 

mold and water damage from basement leak

With untreated crawl space moisture, wood destroying fungus may develop in your home.  What you need to know about wood destroying fungus and how it may affect the integrity of your home is this:

  • Wood destroying fungus (fungi, plural) causes more damage to structures than all the fires,floods, and termites combined!
  • Wood decaying fungus requires four fundamentals to survive which are oxygen, favorable temperatures, water, and food.
  • Fungus occurs generally when the moisture content of wood exceeds 20 to 30 percent, coupled with optimal temperatures (32° – 90° F), an adequate supply of oxygen and a suitable source of energy and nutrients.
  • Fungus is a plant that lack chlorophyll. Unable to manufacture its own food, it feeds off of cells in the wood. The fungus secretes enzymes that break down the wood into usable food.
  • Fungi will significantly reduce the strength of the wood, if the condition continues over a period of time.

There are different types of wood destroying fungus as well as non wood destroying fungus to be aware of and can be notated by how they affect the wood.

  • White Rot Fungi causes rotted wood to feel moist, soft and spongy, or stringy and to appear white bleached
  • Brown Rot Fungi leaves wood dry and fragile
  • Water Conducting Fungi can quickly spread through a building and destroy large areas of flooring and walls.
  • Soft Rot Fungi look like brown rot. They are most commonly found in rotting window frames, wet floor boards and fence posts, etc.
  • Non Wood Destroying Fungi may discolor the wood, they do not break down wood fibers and thus do not weaken its structure.

Proper identification of fungus through a wood destroying pests and organisms inspection is essential to developing the appropriate control measures.

• Borates provide an effective method of treating for the protection of wood and wood-foam composite structural components against wood decay fungi.
• Borates are highly destructive to all wood destroying organisms and, unlike other wood preservatives, they are non-volatile, odorless, and are less toxic than table salt. They do not discolor the wood, are non-corrosive, environmentally safe and known to be effective in controlling more than 45 different species of wood decaying fungi.
• Within a few days after a treatment has been completed the fungi will begin to die and dry up. Occasionally the dead fungi will emit an unpleasant odor as it decomposes. This odor will only last a couple of days and may be minimized with the circulation of fresh air into the treated area.
• Although borates will kill wood decay fungi, it will not add strength to the damaged wood.
• If the fungi have actually damaged the wood, the corrective action will depend on extend of the damage. The most effective and common method for moderate to severe damage is to replace the damaged wood. However, if only a small area is affected, borates and reinforcing the damaged wood are a cost-effective alternative.

Improper ventilation and moisture issues are common causes of wood destroying fungus infestations. Often these infestations can be prevented and / or corrected by installing an ATMOX controlled ventilation system. Call Preferred Pest, Termite & Turf today to schedule your crawl space inspections to learn more.

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Preferred Pest Termite & Turf is proudly serving Knox, Loudon, Blount, Anderson, Hamblen, Grainger, Jefferson, Monroe, Sevier, and Roane counties.
Contact us for your FREE inspection at 865.297.3789


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