Virtually every home is constructed with wood components, and for all its enduring qualities, no matter the treatment, at some point it needs repair, restoration, or replacement. Whether it is water damage caused by leaks, fire damage, storm damage, dry rot, termites, or any number of other unforeseen issues wood requires inspection and attention over time.
Damage due to fire or lightning strike is fairly easy to determine. When either event occurs, it is relatively natural for most homeowners to get the area effected inspected.
Water is a major elemental factor in most wood damage as it is what makes wood rot and decay. Dry rot is actually caused by a fungus that feeds off of the cellulose and moisture in wood causing to crack against the grain, and crumble, sometimes into a powdery mess. Effected areas tend to turn a dark brown. The term dry rot is misleading in that thought the effects appear to be a drying brittle condition, moisture is actually a factor. High humidity is just as concerning for the integrity of wood over time as is exposure to the more obvious water leaks from busted pipes or rain.
Mold and, to a lesser degree, mildew are also a concern when found on wood. Both are also types of fungi that flourish with exposure to moisture. Both can cause discoloration of wood, and while neither really causes wood to decay, they can increase the moisture absorption of wood making way for the fungi that do cause decay.
Wear and tear can cause damage to wood floors, especially in heavily trafficked areas of your home. This kind of damage is usually slower to occur as it happens with living. Areas that are walked upon frequently or where furniture is moved repeatedly such as the dining room are most susceptible.
Termites are one of the most pervasive of wood destroying pests. Carpenter ants are another insect to watch out for. Fortunately, they can be deterred by regularly scheduled pesticide sprayings with your local pest control company. However, because these pests tend to attack within the walls or gaps of the house frame, it may not be quickly detected. Make sure your wood is properly treated.