We're preparing to paint our house this year. When we cut back the bushes blocking the front of the house, we found occasional soft spots in the siding where we could push a sharp point in maybe 1/8" into the siding at a number of places at the bottom of the wall. There's also some instances of peeling paint at the bottom of the siding in places.
I'm assuming this is dry rot from sprinklers and rain.
So the siding appears intact, and certainly isn't decomposing yet. How much dry rot requires replacement of the siding, and what can be treated by the painters and left til several more years?
Since no one else has responded, I might as well throw a couple of thoughts your way in the hopes it might be helpful.
A longer explanation below, but basically, you're going to want to verify the source of the water and correct it. As well, ideally, you would replace the wood.
- "Dry rot" is actually a blanket term for wood-eating fungi. As you would expect with fungus, the issue is actually the continued growth of the fungus through production of spores. So, even if the damage is not (yet) extensive, the presence of the spores has to be dealt with otherwise the decay will continue.
- Like pretty well every fungus I know of, a key requirement is water. So, a fundamental first step is to identify any obvious sources of water and correct it. Might be a leaky window, downspout, landscape watering, etc. The tricky point is that some types of wood-structure destroying fungus--for example, the common Meruliporia Incrassata ("poria")--actually build their own "water pipes" called rhizomes from the soil to access moisture. There might be no leak...
- Here's a powerpoint slide set from UC Davis that discusses this group of fungi and has pictures to help identify the type:
- I don't personally know anyone who has gone to the extent of identifying the type of dryrot (let alone going the possible next step of locating and severing rhizomes). Just wanted to give you a fuller picture so you have a starting point for doing more research on your own. In my case, I treated dry rot in the siding by replacing the panels but treated dry rot in the atrium beams by repair (dug out damaged wood, treated with boric acid, filled with Abatron's LiquidWood/Wood Epoxy).
BTW, dryrot is just one more reason to keep *all* plantings away from your foundation/exterior walls (subterranean termites being the other) and for opting for drought tolerant/native landscaping.
Hope some of this helps.