What is Dry Rot?
A question often asked by homeowners is “What is dry rot”? A simple explanation of dry rot is that it is a timber destroying fungi that attacks the wood. This type of wood rotting fungi has a severe impact on the structural integrity of the property if left untreated. The fungus causes damage by eating away at the cellulose with the wood. This ultimately leads to the wood changing colour and becoming dry and crumbly to the touch. Visually cuboidal cracks on the wood are a sign of an outbreak of dry rot.
It can affect all types of property, historic or modern and grows within any available cracks and cavities in the walls, feeding off any debris and wood that is present behind the plaster. If left untreated it can prove to be a real problem for the structural integrity of the building so it is important to contact a specialist to inspect the property if you suspect a dry rot outbreak is present in your property.
What are the Differences between Wet Rot and Dry Rot?
We are often asked by customers: “What is the difference between wet rot and dry rot?” We can tell you that there are major differences between these two very different types of wood rot.
Identifying Wet Rot
- The wood is more often than not going to feel soft and spongy – a clear indication of structural damage to the wood.
- Typically a black fungus appears on the infected wood.
- Any paint finish on the timber will become damaged. However, in some instances, the paintwork can look perfect on the exterior but may well be rotting underneath the paint.
- If the decay is in an advanced state it will have dried out the wood. This ten means that the wood will crack and crumble easily.
You can find more information and pictures on our identifying wet rot page.
Identifying Dry Rot
- When exposed to light the fungus appears to have a lemon almost yellowish tinge look to it.
- Dry rot leaves deep cracks running across the grain of the wood along with evidence of mycelium growth on the wood.
- The affected wood will be brown in colour and will crumble due to a lack of structural integrity as a result of dry rot using the wood as a food source.
- Ordinarily damage is restricted to the wood, however, in some instances a large flat mushroom-like fruiting bodies may also be visible. These can easily grow through decorative finishes such as plaster or paintwork.
- Dry rot is the much more serious form of rot out of the two as it can spread over a larger area compared to wet rot.
- Wet rot fungus tends to grow on more porous surfaces, for example, wood with a high moisture content of around 50%. Dry rot, however, tends to grow on surfaces where there is a moisture of around 20%. If left untreated wet rot will almost certainly cause major structural issues as a result of structurally weakened timbers.
For more information about the identifying dry rot click on our dry rot signs page.
Does Dry Rot spread?
Dry rot is a living growing fungus. As such it feeds on timbers and will actively seek out new food sources when it has to. New sources of food been fresh timbers. If the humidity conditions are right dry rot can spread rapidly through a property on the hunt for food.
How to Deal With Dry Rot
Dry rot should be treated as soon as possible to avoid severe damage occurring. If you do suspect dry rot might be causing damage to timbers in your property then the best option is to request a dry rot survey as soon as possible.
If you want to understand more about treating dry rot then click the following link.
Contact Our Dry Rot Experts
Speak to our specialists at Timberwise about carrying dry rot treatments on your property by calling 0800 288 8660 or contacting us online by clicking the link below.