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Differences Between Wood Rot and Mold

It’s easy to mix up wood rot and mold, but each has their own damaging effects. Check out what you can expect from either in your home.

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Worried about mold and wood rot in your home, but not sure how to tell the two apart? There are some clear differences between the ways these invaders impact your home’s structural integrity that can help you distinguish which has moved in before you call the professionals.

wood rot vs mold

All About Mold

There’s no one kind of mold that likes to make its way inside of your home. Instead, you can break down some of the most common moldy invaders into the following categories:

  • Allerge
  • Allergy-based molds – These types of mold will worsen allergies you already have, and even lead to people without allergies forming them. 
  • Pathogen molds – Pathogenic molds will make a person’s existing medical conditions worse. This is done by irritating their immune system. 
  • Toxic molds – Toxigenic molds lead to breathing issues, especially in people with existing conditions, but also in anyone that has no history of respiratory problems. There’s a well-known member of this class of mold: black mold. 

None of these molds enter your home alongside floodwaters or via leaks. Instead, mold spores get into your home by traveling on air currents. These particles can settle in your HVAC system and travel all the way through your home, only sprouting when they find a place that has all of the nutrients they need to grow.

Mold’s Impact on Your Home

Mold’s impact on your home is twofold. It can affect the overall structure of your property, making it weaker, while also putting your family’s health at risk.

In terms of structural build, mold doesn’t eat away at your property like wood rot does. Instead, it gets everywhere. Mold spores can settle and begin growing in your drywall, carpeting, exposed furniture, insulation, and elsewhere. Getting rid of mold that’s settled so deeply into your home can be a significant challenge, one that you should never attempt on your own.

It’s mold’s impact on your health, however, that’s even more concerning. As mentioned, molds of various types have different effects on your health. All molds, however, when given a chance to grow, can start to elicit respiratory problems in a home’s residents. Symptoms of a health crisis induced by a mold infestation include:

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

All About Wood Rot

Wood rot, unlike mold, doesn’t have too many variations. Its most common iteration can be traced to a fungus known as Serpula lacrymans. Like mold spores, this fungus enters your home via your HVAC system. However, spores will only grow when they land on wooden structures, and even then, only when they have access to warmth and moisture as well.

That’s not to say that wood rot isn’t a serious issue, however. After this fungus’s incubation period, wood rot can tear through your home at an unparalleled rate. If you’re not quick to have it removed from your property, you may find yourself having to replace the vast majority of the wooden supports in your basement, crawl space, or foundation.

Preventing Wood Rot In Your Home

The good news is that there are a few different ways to get ahead of wood rot. While it’s difficult to take care of in the moment, you can actively clear your home of the elements that this fungus needs to thrive.

It’s never a bad idea to waterproof your home, for starters. As mentioned, wood rot thrives when it has ready access to high levels of moisture. By waterproofing your basement, crawl space, and foundation, you can prevent any spores already in your home from getting the nutrients they need to grow.

You also have the option of creating a barrier between your wooden supports and the rest of your home. The easiest way to do this is to paint your supports. You don’t need waterproof paint or anything special. Instead, the paint will make it more difficult for the fungus to take root. Similarly, you may be able to invest in a waterproof wood stain.

Finally, make sure you’re getting your HVAC assessed at least once a year. Your HVAC system, as mentioned, is the gateway for both mold and wood rot to get into your home. By getting your system checked and cleaned on a regular basis, you can prevent those spores from making a mess of your property.

Prevention is Key

Are you dealing with wood rot or mold in your home? This isn’t a problem you want to try and fix on your own. Instead, it’s in your best interest to reach out to mold removal professionals to rid your home of these nuisances. Then, experts in Rush City, MN, can walk through your house with you and identify any problems that may put its value or your health at risk. In turn, you can walk away from a meeting with one of the pros from Innovative Basement Authority with a free quote on the services you may need to prevent the formation of mold and wood rot out of your home for good. 

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We service Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Eastern Montana for basement waterproofing and crawl space repair.

Fargo, ND

1330 41st St. N
Fargo, ND 58102

Minneapolis, MN

6265 Carmen Ave.
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

Rush City, MN

1325 S Frandsen Ave
Rush City, MN 55069

Sioux Falls, SD

101 S. Reid Street, Suite 307
Sioux Falls, SD 57103