Dry Rot in Decks: How to Spot it, Fix it, and Avoid it

Dry Rot in decks occurs when moisture gets into the wood, allowing fungus and mold to grow in and on the surface of the wood. Untreated wood is particularly susceptible to dry rot as the wood is not protected from the elements. Additionally, termite damage can expose your deck to more moisture and in turn, lead to dry rot. On a deck, dry rot can be dangerous as it weakens the wood and can make your deck unsafe for regular use.

How to Spot Dry Rot:

Some of the signs of Dry Rot to look out for include:

  • Discoloration in the wood
  • Mold, Mildew, or other Fungus visible on the surface of your deck
  • A Damp, Musty Odor
  • Termites on or around your deck
  • Cracks in the boards on your deck

At NW Surface Cleaner, we provide initial estimates for our deck refinishing services; if it is obvious that some boards need to be replaced before the deck can be refinished, we will provide a separate cost quote for board replacement. Otherwise, we begin the deck refinishing process by thoroughly washing your deck. After the wood is clean, we inspect each board to identify any dry rot and see if any boards need to be replaced. If there are boards that need to be replaced, we will provide a cost quote to replace those boards before continuing with the refinishing process.

How to Fix Dry Rot:

In order to fix dry rot on your deck, the affected wood will need to be replaced. Sometimes, our customers’ decks are in need of a full deck resurfacing which we are able to provide. When dry rot has affected most or all of the boards on your deck, it is likely time for a deck resurfacing. For deck resurfacing, we take off all of the existing deck boards and replace them, but we do not replace your deck framing. Typically deck framing lasts twice as long as the deck surface, making deck resurfacing a great option to extend the life of your existing deck.

How to Avoid Dry Rot:

The best way to avoid and mitigate dry rot is to ensure that the wood of your deck is properly maintained and protected from the elements. This means refinishing your deck every 2-3 years. NW Surface Cleaner is a family business and we have been refinishing decks for nearly 40 years. Our deck refinishing service is a 3-step process that includes: (1) cleaning the wood, (2) sanding the wood, and (3) staining the wood. This process provides a good opportunity to examine the individual boards of your deck for any signs of dry rot and to replace boards as needed. Furthermore, staining the wood with a good oil-based stain will help to waterproof and preserve the wood of your deck, mitigating exposure to moisture and dry rot.

Love your home. Hire us today.

Love your home.
Hire us today.