WHAT IS DRY ROT?
Dry rot is a wood destroying fungus that digests parts of the wood which give the timber strength and its structural integrity. The fungus that eats away at the cellulose in the wood leading to noticeable cuboidal fractures.
Dry rot often does its damage while hidden from view. It may be surprising that something as distinctive as dry rot fungus can spread unnoticed, but dry rot often grows where people do not look – behind plaster, under floorboards or up in lofts.
WHAT CAUSES DRY ROT?
Dry rot is caused when dampness combined with lack of ventilation provides the ideal conditions for fungal attack. It can affect all types of property, historic or modern and can grow within the cracks and cavities in the walls, feeding off debris and wood behind the plaster.
Dry rot spores are present in almost every property to some degree and on their own they are relatively harmless. However, if they are given sufficient moisture they will germinate and form a large fluffy cotton wool like fungus. This fungus will eventually grow into a fruiting body that will release more spores, starting the whole dry rot lifecycle all over again.
Contrary to its name, dry rot needs moisture to flourish and grow. This moisture could come from many sources such as a drip from a leaky pipe, rain water from the roof, damaged gutters or down pipes.
Once dry rot starts growing it can inflict serious damage on timber anywhere in a property. Worst of all, the longer dry rot goes untreated the more destructive it can become.
HOW TO IDENTIFY DRY ROT
Look out for the following signs to help identify dry rot in your property:
When timber is damaged by dry rot it is often brown in colour with dry and brittle cuboidal features that are easily broken or crumble in your hand.
CONCENTRATED SPORE DUST
Most properties contain dry rot spores and they are usually harmless. However, if you notice large concentrated patches of fine orange/brown dust this would indicate that a dry rot outbreak is in progress.
GREY STRANDS ON TIMBER
Fine greyish strands, not unlike cobwebs, that develop from dry rot spores are known as hyphae. This stage in the dry rot lifecycle allows dry rot to spread and grow by extracting moisture from damp areas and feeding on timber.
Mycelium are silky cotton wool-like cushions, varying in colour from grey to pure white, that dry rot produces when it needs to spread to nearby timber.
DRY ROT FRUITING BODIES
The final stage in the dry rot lifecycle is perhaps the most visually distinctive. The mushroom-like fruiting bodies occur when dry rot can no longer feed on the timber it is attached to and needs to pump spores into the atmosphere to begin a new cycle.
Dry rot timber decay is accompanied by a damp, musty smell. If you notice this odour creeping into your property you should be vigilant for any of the signs above.
HOW TO FIX A DRY ROT PROBLEM
A professional surveyor from Wise Property Care will be able to identify the full scope of any dry rot problem. Using specialist tools our surveyors can monitor the progress of any dry rot infestation, even when the rot is in concealed areas of a property. If a survey reveals the presence of dry rot then the dry rot treatment recommended will depend on the severity of the outbreak.
DRY ROT TREATMENT
Want to know how to treat the problem? Check out our basic guide on dry rot treatments and solutions to eradicate a dry rot issue.
HOW TO SOLVE A DRY ROT PROBLEM
When it comes to resolving a dry rot issue, the first step is to establish the severity of the problem. A professional dry rot survey from Wise Property Care will identify the full extent of any woodworm infestation in your property even within timbers that are not easily reached.
NEED A LITTLE MORE HELP REGARDING DRY ROT
If you suspect you might have dry rot, contact Wise Property Care today and speak to our team for help and advice. Alternatively contact us online using our contact form below for help, advice or to arrange a property survey. Organise a no obligation dry rot property survey, and our expert surveyor will be able to recommend the right treatment for you.