So this picture is the crawl space. We have pier and beam foundation. I noticed some white powdery stuff around the base of the beam so I brushed some of it off and picked at the wood softly. It was soft and came off in a fiberous way. My understanding is that this the beginning stages of wood rot. Looking for recommendations as to how to repair this. How long does this typically take to happen? Months? years? We had some heavy rain the last few days in the bay area, CA but this doesn't just happen right away right?


Here is a closer picture of what it looked like after I picked at it a bit:

enter image description here

Here are some of the fibers on the ground:

enter image description here

  • Is that a larger wood piece setting/imbedded in or on the concrete with a smaller post on top of that?
    – Jack
    Nov 1, 2021 at 3:57
  • @Jack Not sure but it seems like it is a square piece of wood and then the post is on top of it. My guess is that some of the wood is embedded in the concrete pier.
    – Jeff T
    Nov 1, 2021 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


No, this is not "dry rot", the surface damage is caused by condensation from the moist air that has softened the wood and caused the spalling of the concrete. The damage took years to form and will take another year, if not years, to render the support useless.

If this is a deck support, there is no urgency to replace it but to provide better ventilation below the deck, if possible. However, if it is a column of the building, then you shall consider rebuilding the support pedestal using concrete with a metal post connector. The column itself still looks good though.

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