If you have noticed a brown type of mould on wood in your property, or if it appears to be cracked and crumbly, it’s likely you’ve got a case of dry rot. In this blog, we’ll explore the stages of dry rot and how it can be treated and prevented.
What is Dry Rot?
Dry rot is a form of wood decay. It is caused by a type of fungus that grows in wood with moisture levels exceeding 28%, but once the fungus is established in the wood, it can lay dormant in environments with as low as 22% moisture. Dry rot can affect masonry, too.
How to Spot Dry Rot
Dry rot is often referred to as ‘brown rot’ because of its characteristically red-brown appearance and tendency to darken the colour of the timber. This is its defining feature, but there are other ways to diagnose dry rot:
The Difference Between Dry Rot and Wet Rot
Wet rot and dry rot often get confused, and whilst they’re both destructive, they are very different problems. It’s essential the right treatment is applied to avoid further damage and expense, so knowing the difference is key. Here are some of the key differences you should be aware of:
Is Dry Rot Damaging?
If left untreated, dry rot can cause major structural damage because it can spread throughout the entirety of the wooden structure. This means if you have dry rot in the wooden structure of your house, you could be looking at a complete (and expensive) replacement of beams if left untreated. This is why it’s all the more important to be able to identify dry rot and stop it in its early stages.
Dry Rot Stages
There are several stages of dry rot, so there’s ample opportunity for you to diagnose the issue before it gets too serious.
Dry Rot Treatment
As with any problem, the longer you leave it, the more expensive it is to fix. If you think you might have a case of dry rot – or if you’re looking to prevent it – the first stage is to minimise the risk of damp in the home by installing proper ventilation and correcting any plumbing leaks and/or gutter leaks. This could be in the form of an extractor fan, or by ensuring you regularly open windows and allow good air circulation throughout the home.
Not only will this reduce the risk of dry rot (and indeed wet rot), but it will also prevent other types of damp that could be just as harmful to your home.
Depending on the severity of the issue, we would recommend removing and replacing the affected areas of timber as part of the next stage of treating dry rot. If the infestation isn’t too advanced and the structural integrity of the wood isn’t compromised, irrigating and sterilising the wood or masonry could be sufficient.
Do you Have Dry Rot?
If you think you might have a case of dry rot within your property, get in touch with our team to book a site survey and to discuss the plan of action moving forwards.