Elite Home Exteriors NW

Dry Rot Water Damage Exterior Siding mold

Is there Water Damage or Dry Rot under my siding?

Image of Exterior sub wall rot and water damage behind James Hardie PlankIs There Water Damage or Dry Rot under my Siding?

Thats the million dollar question! Unfortunately, we won’t know for sure until siding is torn off. We are able to see specific areas that have probable areas of water or moisture intrusion.

  • Some Common Siding of Probable Water Damage
  • Cracked Caulking
  • No Z Metal Flashing above windows
  • Nail Puncture
  • Siding too close or in contact to the ground
  • Plants and tress too close to the structure
  • Water Sprinkler Systems aimed at home
  • Discoloration on Siding
  • No Kick Out Flashing

The Pacific Northwest’s Silent Threat: Dry Rot Under Siding

The Pacific Northwest is known for its lush greenery and scenic beauty, but this wet climate also harbors a hidden danger for homeowners: dry rot. This might seem counterintuitive, but dry rot thrives in damp environments under siding, silently eating away at your home’s structural integrity.

What is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is a fungal disease that attacks wood, particularly when moisture is trapped and there’s limited ventilation. While it may sound like it needs dry conditions, the key is the source of moisture. Even limited, but consistent moisture allows the fungus to establish itself and slowly consume the wood.

Why is the Pacific Northwest Prone to Dry Rot Under Siding?

The frequent rain and cool temperatures of the Pacific Northwest create the perfect environment for dry rot to flourish under siding. Here’s why:

  • Trapped Moisture: Rain can seep behind siding through cracks, faulty caulking, or improper flashing. Once trapped, this moisture can evaporate slowly, creating ideal conditions for dry rot growth.
  • Limited Ventilation: Poorly ventilated crawlspaces, attics, or wall cavities can trap moisture and prevent it from drying out properly, allowing dry rot spores to germinate and spread.
  • Wood Material: While any wood can be susceptible, older, untreated wood provides a more favorable environment for dry rot to take hold.

Signs of Dry Rot Under Siding:

Unfortunately, dry rot often goes unnoticed until significant damage has already occurred. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:

  • Visible Cracking or Blistering: The surface of your siding might show cracks, warping, or blistering paint, indicating underlying wood damage.
  • Crumbly or Soft Wood: If you can easily push a screwdriver into a section of wood siding, it could be a sign of rot.
  • Mold Growth: Mold growth on or near your siding can indicate trapped moisture and potentially the presence of dry rot.
  • Musty Odors: A lingering musty odor inside your home might be a sign of rot or mold growth within the walls.

What to Do if You Suspect Dry Rot?

If you suspect dry rot under your siding, it’s crucial to take action promptly. Here’s what to do:

  • Contact a Professional: A qualified inspector or contractor can assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action.
  • Address the Moisture Source: Identifying and fixing the source of moisture is critical to prevent future rot problems. This might involve repairing leaky roofs, gutters, or faulty flashing.
  • Remove and Replace Damaged Wood: Rotted wood needs to be removed and replaced with sound, treated lumber to ensure structural integrity.
  • Improve Ventilation: Improving air circulation in crawlspaces, attics, and wall cavities can help prevent future moisture buildup.
  • Consider Siding Material: Replacing your siding with a moisture-resistant material like James Hardie fiber cement can help prevent future dry rot issues.

Preventing Dry Rot:

Here are some proactive steps you can take to prevent dry rot under your siding:

  • Regular Inspections: Schedule regular inspections of your siding, roof, and foundation to identify any potential moisture problems early on.
  • Proper Maintenance: Maintain your gutters, ensure proper drainage around your foundation, and keep vegetation away from your home’s exterior.
  • Adequate Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in crawlspaces, attics, and wall cavities to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Moisture-Resistant Materials: Consider using moisture-resistant materials like treated lumber or fiber cement siding when replacing siding or building components.

By being aware of the dangers of dry rot and taking preventive measures, you can protect your Pacific Northwest home from this silent threat and ensure its longevity and value.


Looking for a profession opinion on your exterior? Contact us today for a free consultation!


WA 360-605-9030

OR 971-978-8775


Dry Rot Behind The Siding


Posted on by Elite Home Exteriors NW
Is there Water Damage or Dry Rot under my siding?

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