Tips for preventing mould and dry rot

You can keep dry rot and mould at bay by controlling moisture inside and outside of your home. Here are some tips for this.

Tips for preventing mould and dry rot

What to look for outside the house

  • At least twice a year, check your roof for leaks. Look for loose roof shingles and popped roofing nails.
  • Inspect your basement, crawl spaces, attic, porch, deck, house perimeter, and other areas where water can collect or seep in.
  • Check roof eaves and door and window frames for the signs of dry rot: soft, crumbly wood and a powdery surface.
  • Keep gutters clean and free of leaf accumulations, which trap moisture. Consider upgrading to self-cleaning gutters.
  • Examine the caulking around windows, doors, and utility openings, and re-caulk as needed. Make sure weather stripping around doors and windows is doing its job of keeping moisture out.
  • On your deck, inspect the ground-to-post contact points.

What to look for inside the house

  • Check your bathroom and kitchen plumbing for leaks. Look for signs of mould growth around showers and tubs and on tiles.
  • Make certain dryer, bathroom, and stove exhaust vents lead outside. You don't want them dumping moisture-laden air into your attic.
  • If you keep potted plants on a deck or wood patio, avoid moisture problems by setting the planters on pot feet (available at home and garden centres), which allow air to circulate underneath.
  • After showers and baths, be sure to run the exhaust fan for about 20 minutes, or long enough to dry out the room. If your bathroom lacks a fan, have one installed. To increase air flow to bathroom closets, consider replacing solid doors with louvered ones.
  • To move out warm, moist air collecting in the upper reaches of your attic, consider installing a roof ridge vent system. Or use an electric attic fan.
  • Your clothes dryer is another source of hot air that needs to be expelled. Make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outside. Once a year, inspect the dryer's exhaust duct and clean it out.
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the perimeter of your house. Channel water from downspouts away from the foundation. Trim tree branches that overhang your roof, and clear excess plant growth from around the foundation. Encroaching foliage provides opportunities for moisture to collect, while roots near the foundation can interfere with perimeter drainage systems.
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