Dry Rot and Decking: Keep Your Deck From Rotting

Dry Rot and Decking What You Need to Know to Keep Your Deck Healthy

Dry rot is one of the most common problems homeowners face when it comes to their decks. If left untreated, it can weaken your deck’s structure and cause serious safety hazards. In this blog post, we’ll explain what dry rot is, how to identify it, and most importantly, how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

What is dry rot?

Dry rot is a type of wood decay that can affect any type of wood, including those used in decking. It is caused by certain types of fungi, including Serpula Lacrymans and Meruliporia Incrassata, which thrive in moist, warm environments where wood is present. These fungi consume the cellulose and lignin in the wood, breaking down its structure and reducing its strength. As the decay progresses, the wood becomes increasingly brittle and may develop deep cracks or break apart entirely. 

If left untreated, dry rot can weaken the structure of your deck and create a serious safety hazard. It’s important to address any signs of dry rot as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse.

How to identify dry rot

To identify dry rot, it’s important to inspect your deck regularly for any signs of damage. Here are some symptoms of dry rot:

  • Softening and discoloration of the wood
  • Crumbly and brittle wood that may eventually develop deep cracks or break apart entirely
  • Musty or damp smell in the affected area
  • Powdery dust or small, reddish-brown spores on the surface of the wood
  • Hollow sound or easy give when tapping the wood with a hard object, such as a screwdriver
  • Fungal growth appearing as a white or yellowish film on the surface of the wood

If you notice any of these symptoms on your deck, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent the problem from getting worse.

How to prevent dry rot

In addition to regular cleaning and sealing, there are other steps you can take to prevent dry rot from developing on your deck. One of the most important is to address any water damage or leaks as soon as possible. Check for any signs of water damage, such as staining or warping of the wood, and make repairs promptly. You can also consider installing a drainage system beneath your deck to redirect water away from the wood. This can be especially important if your deck is built over a low-lying or damp area.

Another way to prevent dry rot is to choose the right type of wood for your deck. Some woods are naturally resistant to decay, such as cedar and redwood. If you are building a new deck or replacing old wood, consider using one of these types of wood for increased durability.

Finally, it’s important to avoid placing any objects directly on the surface of your deck, as this can trap moisture and promote fungal growth. Instead, use deck furniture and other objects with feet or legs that raise them off the surface of the wood. By taking these steps to prevent dry rot, you can help to ensure that your deck remains strong and healthy for years to come.


Dry rot is a serious problem that can compromise the safety and integrity of your deck. However, with proper maintenance and timely repairs, it can be easily prevented and treated. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your deck remains strong, healthy, and beautiful for years to come.

Repair Your Deck

If you suspect that your deck has dry rot, it’s important to take action right away to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your deck. At House Repair and Care, we specialize in deck repair and can help you quickly and effectively address any issues with dry rot. 

Our team of experienced professionals will remove the affected wood, replace it with new, healthy wood, and reinforce the structure of your deck to ensure that it remains stable and safe. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help restore your deck to its former glory.

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