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Humidity, Wood Rot & Your Foundation

If your floors feel bouncy under your feet or creak when you move through the house, you may have wood rot. Wood rot occurs because of high moisture levels – a common occurrence in Florida’s humid environment.

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Have you been noticing your floors seem to have a bounce to them? Are you suddenly dealing with unexpected humidity in your home? Can you smell a musty odor that wasn’t there before? These are all potential signs of wood rot in your home.

What You Need to Know About Wood Rot

How Can I Identify Wood Rot?

Wood rot is one of the most destructive issues that can take root in any home, and it is sadly common in this area, thanks to Florida’s extremely humid climate. There are three main forms of wood rot that you should be aware of: soft, white, and brown. No matter what kind of rot takes root in your home, wood rot will always cause wood to decay and weaken. This can be especially disastrous for a crawl space and cause major structural damage.

Soft and white rot are also classed as forms of wet rot, and they spread slower than the dry form of wood rot, also known as brown rot. Each of these forms of rot needs more moisture than brown rot and attack different parts of a wooden surface. This means that they change the appearance of wood in slightly different ways. Soft rot attacks the cellulose and leaves a spongy honeycomb look in damaged wood, while white rot leaves cellulose behind as a white coating.

Brown rot, by contrast, spreads very quickly and requires much less moisture to spread. Rather than causing wood to become soft or spongy, brown rot is more likely to make it brittle in nature. Brown rot will also cause staining and discoloration. Wood that has been impacted by brown rot may take on a slightly burnt and cracked appearance over time.

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    Moisture: Your Crawl Space’s Biggest Threat

    The overwhelming majority of wood rot cases come from high levels of moisture. But water can cause even more issues beyond wood rot. If wood rot is present, there’s a good chance your home or crawl space will experience the following: 

    Mold and Mildew

    Besides smelling unpleasant, mold and mildew can cause health issues and break down wood even further.


    Humid places attract animals of all kinds, because it is warm and damp.. Bugs like cockroaches and termites or rodents such as mice and rats may nest under your home and leave waste that can make the air in your home unhealthy.

    Increased Energy Bills

    As humidity rises in your crawl space, it eventually enters your home. When this happens, your air conditioning has to work on overdrive, and your utility bills increase.

    Dealing with Wood Rot

    Various methods exist to deal with wood rot issues. Alpha Foundations can provide these options to help your home and crawl space stay supported.

    Crawl Space Encapsulation

    This is the ideal fix for a home with a dirt crawl space floor. Dirt will always release moisture into the air. Even if you dry the top layer as much as you can, moist soil is always only a few inches down into the floor.

    Crawl space encapsulation blocks off all entrances for water, including any open vents and the dirt floor. With proper encapsulation, you won’t have crawl space moisture problems caused by warm air entering a cold-air crawl space.

    Support Beams

    Generally, you’ll need to offer additional support for rotting wood after moisture has been dealt with. For this, we install the SettleStop IntelliJack™ crawl space stabilizing system to keep your floor and wooden beams supported.

    These steel jacks can fit in any accessible crawl space and support up to 24,000 pounds of pressure. Plus, they are made with galvanized steel to prevent corrosion.

    Get Help with Wood Rot from Alpha Foundations

    Floor rot is a difficult problem, but it’s not an impossible one to solve. If you’re wondering whether or not you have rotten joists and wood rot in your crawl space, contact Alpha Foundations for a FREE inspection from one of our foundation experts.

    Call us at (855) 847-1835 to learn more about our foundation repair solutions so you can feel confident that your crawl space is well protected!


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