dry rot vs termites

Like salt, though, borate is water soluble, which means rain or contact with the ground can allow it to become mobile. However, because both causes of wood decay have similar looking effects, it can be difficult to distinguish what is actually going on. In both cases, the structural integrity of the material is compromised. The handling for dry rot is to remove it back to good wood or patch it (in the case of a small area). Check with suppliers before buying, or do a patch test.

Let’s say the unpainted risers beneath the back porch steps show signs of wood rot. When the wood fails, it’s because the number of channels increases to the point that there isn’t enough wood left to support any weight or stress placed on it. You can also download our e-book, The Impact of Termites on Commercial Facilities, here. Some glycol-containing products may keep the water repellent from drying properly. Borate’s advantage is that it acts across a spectrum of wood destroyers-from termites, anobiid beetles, lyctid beetles, and carpenter ants to brown or white wood rot. The two types of damage can be differentiated, however, by the detection of live termites and/or termite channels and galleries. Dry rot caused by fungi and termite damage can occur due to a common reason: contact with the soil. It was a perfect storm for wood rot and an all-you-can-eat buffet for the termites! Unlike poison, borate doesn’t kill instantly. These activities create channels in the wood. «We did the treatment a year and a half ago, and there’s no sign of new infestation or rot,» Ocampo says. The wood on these cannot be removed due to the support they provide. When the 1827 Dominguez Rancho Adobe in Carson, California, was expanded from kitchen quarters to a comfortable six-room house and chapel, the builders placed wood beams next to the ground, leaving them prone to undermining. If you have noticed any wood rot but have thankfully been saved from termites for now, then call a local home repair company like ProMaster at 513-724-0539. If you find an infestation of termites in a door or windowsill, for instance, you could inject a concentrated borate gel (such as JECTA) into small, pre-drilled holes.

If you have any questions or comments about termites please share them with us below!

Termites are nasty home invaders that have no interest in bothering humans. For a forest, wood-destroying fungi and insects are part of nature’s cycle as they decompose fallen trees. (Photo: Scott Bauer). You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. The ideal is to protect all wood within 3′ of ground level. In some cases, such as the video below, damage occurs on main support joists of the house. Channels may be branched out like a tree, with a main «trunk» leading to the ground. On the flipside, termite damaged wood may appear normal on the outside but has chewed-through tunnels and galleries on the inside. The new section of the house had been built over a crawl space, and the crew was able to apply a borate product (Tim-bor) to the floor joists. If you may be worried you have termites, there are a few simple cues of an active termite colony. Like fungi, they eat away the inside of the wood, making it hollow and weak. (Plastic made for this purpose is sold by borate suppliers.) This can happen with foundation cracks, in particular. Pieces of the wood that are not decayed break off in long slivers. Because the ends of logs absorb moisture, it’s a good idea to provide an extra dose of medicine beyond brushing or spraying borate. Initially it darkened the wood, but after a few days the glycol volatilized, and the wood returned to its normal color. It must be replaced. They don’t need our food scraps, our bodies, or our pets but they do love wood rot.


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