What causes rot anyway?
The fungal spores that cause wood to rot are all around us. Fortunately, they are not always active, and rot damage does not occur overnight. Dry rot is a common type of wood rot in which wood is attacked by fungi. The fungi destroy the parts of the wood that make it strong and firm.
To grow and begin to digest wood, fungal spores need adequate amounts of water and high relative humidity. When the moisture content of the materials with which your home is built is coupled with high relative humidity, the stage is set for rot. For roofs, this often occurs when a small leak goes unnoticed and allows water to soak into the frame.
Where to inspect for dry rot & wood rot
- Exterior window sills and door thresholds
- Exterior window and door casings (trim)
- The underside of roof decking (if accessible from the attic)
- Roof framing (if accessible from the attic)
- Fascia (trim to which gutters are often attached) and rake boards (trim on the gable end of a roof)
We address wood rot at the source
There are several different factors that can cause wood rot in your roof, which is why it's important to understand what problems can make your roof at risk.
- Clogged or misaligned gutters: If your gutters are clogged or misaligned, tremendous amounts of water can enter your home and saturate the ground around your foundation (which can also allow water to seep into your home). Properly cleaning and maintaining gutters ensures rainwater drains away from your home.
- Roof ventilation: The roof is more than a barrier to rain and snow -- it's also where your home exhales! A properly vented roof also expels much of the water vapor that builds up in the home and plays an important role in keeping the moisture content in building materials to safe levels. Vent openings are typically located along the roof's ridge and soffits at the eaves and are usually continuous in order to maintain adequate air flow.
- Damaged roofing materials: Water is necessary for wood rot, and there's no surer way for water to get into your roof than cracked, missing, or torn shingles. By ensuring that you maintain your roof and apply the right roof repairs when necessary, you can limit the risk of a roof leak that leads to wood rot.