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How Rot Happens

Mold, mildew and moss infest our roofs and all exterior surfaces in this warm, moist climate. They are part of a “bionic community” of the “destructive type” whose mission is to compost anything they can. ROTban has understood and addressed all these issues proactively! By performing moss removal and prevention that lasts a long time, for example, we are actually rot proofing and extending roof life. By performing siding and wall cleaning that lasts, we are promoting healthier air to breathe, beauty for your home, and valuable protection for your building products.

Driftwood has a resilient, solid, smooth surface. Rarely is rot found there. Why? Preservation is achieved by salt water, the sterility of the sand and the sun on the beach. However, the same kinds of wood, when in shady, rainy areas, have a different fate. You can poke your finger into the rotting wood. As time progresses, you can pull off big chunks. One day, this material will be soil. This is a very important process in nature!

Dr. Mark Eberhart, BS MS Ph.D has explained rot well; identifying the active growths involved in rot and natural organic breakdown a “BIOTIC COMMUNITY OF THE DESTRUCTIVE TYPE”. To paraphrase his teaching, a moist, warm, shady environment and organic material host will quickly attract mold, mildew and algae. Like most simple plant microbes, they excrete acids into the host and then draw the acid back into themselves. The acid brings with it some dissolved nutrients from the host’s cells and any impurities on it – their food. The host loses something in this process. And by-products of their feeding provide a rich environment for bigger and more aggressive microbe growths. The more aggressive growths use the same feeding methods. Fungus is the most damaging, and don’t necessarily have big showy fruit. They work along with moss to speed up the breakdown of lignin and resin. When the host softens up, bugs and worms join the feeding frenzy, which may be followed up by amphibians and mammals which burrow.

This wonderful process makes rich soil out of dead matter. Mark I Eberhart, BS MS Ph.D is Professor of chemistry and geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines, Author of Why Things Break and Contributor to the History Channel series “Life After People”.

As important as decomposition is in nature, it’s also important to prevent this process from destroying our homes and capital assets. This can be achieved by preventing the microbes from starting to feed on building materials.

Keeping building materials clean is the first step. Mild algaecides can stop the growths. However, the cleanliness and algaecide must have lasting qualities, so that efforts and costs are kept within reason.

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