does homeowners insurance cover dry rot?

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Whether you've known about decay in your basement for a while now or you just discovered damage in your attic, many of us know the destruction dry rot can cause. Read more about whether your home insurance policy can help cover dry rot repairs — plus find out what causes it and how to help prevent it.

first things first: what is dry rot?

Dry rot is essentially the slow decay of timber caused by certain fungi that eat away at the overall strength and stiffness of the wood.

Formally named brown rot, the fungal growth can cause damage to pretty much anyone's home given the right conditions. Dry rot generally flourishes in poorly ventilated, humid places in your house — like basements, attics, laundry rooms, and even behind refrigerators. It might seem like damage from dry rot comes out of nowhere since there's often no obvious moisture source, like a leak. But all these particular fungi need to thrive are wood, paper, or any similar material.

What does dry rot look like?

Timber affected by dry rot generally appears darker than usual and almost crumbly in appearance, with cube-like cracks that cut deep into the wood. It eventually becomes very brittle and can even disintegrate to dust.

Depending on the severity of the decay, dry rot can lead to anything from localized damage to structural collapse.

dry rot repairs and your home insurance policy

If your house experiences dry rot damage as the direct result of a covered loss, your homeowners insurance could step in to help pay for repairs.

Examples of covered losses include a burst pipe flooding your basement or your roof developing a leak after a storm. In these scenarios, an Esurance policy could help pay up to $5,000 to treat, remove, and dispose of any dry rot (as well as wet rot, mold, and fungus) that results.

Your policy could even help pay for any investigation or testing required to detect, measure, and evaluate dry rot after a covered event (which is why you should always notify your insurer after an incident to help avoid bigger issues — and even denied claims — further down the road).

Is your timber insured against dry rot? Get a free homeowners quote.

But since dry rot doesn't just appear overnight, the onus is usually on you, the homeowner, to ensure that measures are taken to prevent dry mold from developing in the first place. As with mold or water damage, any dry rot that results from long-term neglect or general home maintenance issues is typically your responsibility to repair.

how to prevent dry rot

The best way to prevent dry rot is to ensure all areas of your house receive proper ventilation, since dry rot fungi thrive in a stagnant, humid environment. If you notice any leaks, repair them as quickly as possible in order to prevent excess moisture from permeating your home's structure. It can even help to run dehumidifiers in high humidity, or after cleaning up a leak or spill.

If you already detect some dry rot, you can help avoid further growth (and kill existing fungi) with a number of available treatments, like fungicides and borate wood preservatives. But, to ensure you don't have a full-scale dry rot infestation on your hands, it's always best to call a pro to come out and inspect your place.

On top of financial protection against various perils, we offer myriad discounts to help you save cash, a wide array of customizable coverage options, and so much more. Get a quick, free quote online or give us a call at 1-866-439-5633, where our agents are here at these times to answer any questions you have.

Protecting your home from mold
Read even more tips on how to safeguard your beloved abode against mold.

Does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks?
A leak in your roof can lead to all sorts of mishaps, including water damage, mold, rot, and more. Learn more about how your home policy could help pay for repairs.

Get your free quote online

or call 1-866-439-5633