What is dry rot?
Dry rot is a fungus that attacks timber in buildings. If dry rot is not identified and treated immediately, this could cause major devastation to timber and masonry. Dry rot can be identified as a mushroom like fungus with grey and white hyphae stands covering the decayed timber. Dry rot can make the timber become dry and brittle and its smell can often be associated with stale mushrooms.
What are the causes of dry rot?
Poor ventilated damp areas are the main cause of dry rot although leaking gutters, a leaking roof and rising damp can contribute to the problem. When timbers are in contact with damp masonry, spores can germinate at 20%/22% moisture content. The fungus will spread rapidly if undetected, leaving a trail of hyphae strands to form mycelial; the distinctive grey/white strands germinate into sporophores causing a trail of red dust. At this stage, action is required in the treatment of dry rot. Dry rot can spread rapidly through a building under the right moisture levels. Dry rot is not normally found on saturated timber.
How to treat dry rot
The first stage of treatment is to stop the source of moisture to the area. Badly affected timber should be in removed in all cases; masonry should be treated with a biocide chemical, ensuring the treatment is carried out 1 metre past any visible sign of dry rot. If the timbers are treatable, a fungicidal solution should be used. Ventilation should be increased to prevent any further timber damage.
What is wet rot?
Wet rot is a fungus that effects timbers, timbers will lose their strength and shape this will severely undermine the structure of the building. The timber will shrink and split into cuboidal sectors. There are three types of wet rot Coniophora puteana, Poria vaillantii and Phellinus contiguous. Coniophora puteana is the most commonly found wet rot, it is usually found under floors, in skirting boards and in basements. Phellinus contiguous is normally found in external timbers such as window frames and doors.
What are the causes of wet rot?
High levels of damp, condensation and moisture within a building can lead to wet rot. Poor ventilation is normally the cause of wet rot. Other causes of wet rot can be leaking roofs and rising damp.
How can wet rot be treated?
If wet rot is found within a building the first set is to stop the ingress of moisture to the area. All the saturated timbers will need to be removed from the area. Timbers which are treatable can remain in situ and treated with a fungal insecticide/biocide. All masonry within the same area should be treated with the same chemical.
Ventilation within the property should be increased to prevent any further out breaks of wet rot.
Wet Rot and Dry Rot
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