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What’s the Difference Between Wood Rot and Mold?

Wood rot and mold both have a detrimental impact on the overall health of your home, but what’s the difference between these types of damage?

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Wood rot and mold have several similarities between them, but they’re not the same malignant force working against your home. Rather, wood rot and mold have different targets within your home as well as different effects on your home’s structural integrity.

wood rot in crawl space

All About Wood Rot

Wood rot is caused by a fungus known as Serpula lacrymans. This fungus enters your home via your HVAC system and travels on the air currents that spread throughout your home. Unlike mold, however, wood rot does not spread from surface to surface in your basement, crawl space, or foundation. Rather, as the name suggests, this fungus will only target your wooden supports.

Don’t think you can rest easy, though. Wood rot is voracious. While the spores need to go through an incubation period before they can begin to grow, they can tear through your supports once they’ve taken root. All they need to thrive, after all, is warmth and water. If you’re dealing with some manner of structural damage throughout your home, wood rot can be a problem that’s difficult to get rid of.

Wood Rot Damage Around Your Home

Getting rid of wood rot can be a challenge if you don’t have experience working with its brand of destruction. That’s why it’s in your best interest to reach out to the professional contractors working in your area if you suspect that this fungus may have taken root in your home.

There are ways to prevent wood rot from settling into your wooden supports. Waterproofing your home, for example, is never a bad idea. When you waterproof your home, you deprive wood rot of one of the nutrients it needs to survive. In turn, any spores that make their way into your home can’t take root.

Other ways to keep wood rot from destroying your wooden supports include:

  • Creating a barrier between your wooden supports and the fungus with paint or a sealant.
  • Investing in regular HVAC system inspections and cleaning to keep unwanted spores from circulating through your home.

All About Mold

Mold doesn’t come in one shape or form. Instead, there are several different types of mold that will enthusiastically make themselves a nuisance in your home. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Allergenic molds – Allergenic molds exacerbate existing allergies and can cause people who have not shown signs of allergies before to develop them.
  • Pathogenic molds – Pathogenic molds exacerbate a person’s existing medical conditions by irritating their immune system.
  • Toxigenic molds – Toxigenic molds cause respiratory problems in family members with pre-existing conditions as well as in parties who have no history of respiratory problems. One of the most common toxigenic molds is black mold.

These molds do not enter your home via cracks in your walls or foundation. Instead, while those conditions can make mold growth more prominent, mold spores enter your home courtesy of your HVAC system. Only once the spores settle can moisture from any cracks throughout your home make their presence all the more dangerous.

Mold Damage Around Your Home

Unlike wood rot, mold doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the overall structural integrity of your wooden supports. It can, however, begin to grow in just about any porous material you happen to have around your property. With that in mind, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your drywall, your fabrics, and any other materials that appear to have taken on water damage in the past week or so. That moisture will give mold spores the nutrients they need to thrive.

Mold can do more than damage your belongings, though. It can also cause serious health conditions to appear in all family members exposed to it. Some of the most common conditions mold can bring about include but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Asthma in younger children
  • Congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Itching eyes and/or skin

As mentioned, different types of mold can have different effects on a person’s body. If you’ve noticed you’re having more trouble breathing or engaging in day-to-day tasks, however, it may be time to make your way to a doctor. Ideally, you’ll also have time to reach out to the professional contractors in your area to schedule an inspection of your home as well.

Protecting Your Home from Damage

It’s never a good idea to try and remove wood rot or mold from your home without help. That’s where mold removal professionals come in. Once they have been properly removed, you can then reach out to professional contractors in Columbus, OH, to help you address the conditions that were contributing to the wood rot and/or mold growth. That way, with the proper solutions installed, you can prevent damage from these nuisances for good.

If you want to discuss the best ways to prevent mold and wood rot, don’t wait. Reach out to the experts at Ohio Basement Authority today for a free inspection and services quote on the means you might need to reclaim your space.

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