Despite its name, dry rot is a result of moisture and heat exposure on your roof. It tends to affect the interior of the roof, the roof sheathing, the most severely. Dry rot is actually the name of a wood-destroying fungus that thrives in damp, hot conditions, which is why it often begins in the attic of your home where the underside of the roof sheathing is exposed.
Dry Rot Symptoms
You may be able to spot dry rot symptoms on the exterior as well as on the interior of your home, although it's not advisable to walk out onto the roof during your inspection. From the ground, look for telltale signs like curling or warped shingles that indicate moisture incursion. Rot in the roof sheathing may also cause the roof to bow and sag between the roof trusses.
A closer inspection inside the attic is easier for most homeowners. If your attic feels hot and smells like mildew, then the chances of dry rot are higher. Poke the attic ceiling, which is the underside of the roof sheathing, with a flat screwdriver in order to test for soft spots that indicate rot. Water stains or mold growth on the sheathing or surrounding insulation may also indicate dry rot is present.
There are ways to prevent dry rot from affecting your roof. Good ventilation is the best defense. Your roofer can check your existing soffit, gable, and ridge vents to make sure they are sufficient for the size of your roof. Additional vents may be necessary if too much heat and moisture are becoming trapped in the attic.
General roof maintenance to prevent moisture from getting under the shingles is also a must. Torn, missing, or otherwise damaged shingles should be fixed promptly, as should any damage to roof eaves or rooftop flashing. Keep any exposed wood on the roof, such as around the eaves, painted so that it is protected from moisture and dry rot fungus.
Roof Repair Options
Repair options will depend on how far the rot issue has progressed. Other factors, such as the age and the material of the roof, must also be considered. In cases where rot has only affected a small area and the rest of the roof is in good condition, your roofer may be able to cut out the rotten sheathing and replace it.
Often, though, dry rot has already spread to much of the sheathing by the time it is discovered. In this case, the best option is to have the roof fully removed and replaced. Your roofer will also inspect roof trusses and other roof-adjacent structures to make sure the dry rot hasn't spread further.
Contact a roof replacement contractor if you suspect rot has compromised your roof.
Do you know how to tell if you have problems with your flashing, loose shingles, or damaged tar pitch? Well, I didn't either until I experienced some of those issues on my own. One day, I realized that my roof was leaking and that I needed to find a solution fast. After contacting a professional roofing company, they were able to solve my troubles and teach me the signs of trouble. I want you to avoid the same types of hassles, which is why my blog is filled to the brim with information about roofing and home ownership. You never know, these tips could really come in handy!