One of the most common concerns of property owners and tenants across the UK is dry and wet rot control. Despite this, identifying the differences between a dry rot fruiting body and wet rot can be quite tricky to distinguish. Though both are wood-destroying fungi, there are significant differences between the two. Regardless of whether you recognise the smell of dry rot or see signs of wet rot, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a damp and timber specialist to resolve the issue.
Wet and dry rot is dangerous to the structural integrity of your property, so it’s vital that you don’t allow it to fester. Read on to discover how you can distinguish between wet and dry rot.
As previously mentioned, wet and dry rot are two types of fungi; however, the biggest difference is probably that wet rot requires a higher moisture content to grow. For instance, wet rot grows on timber with a moisture content that exceeds 50%, while dry rot can germinate at 20% to 30% moisture content. Establishing the difference between these types of damp is the first step to resolving the issue.
Due to its destructive qualities, any form of rot should be treated as a matter of urgency. Though wet rot is more common, it spreads at a more localised rate, typically only affecting timber at the damp source. Despite this, wet rot shouldn’t be underestimated, as it still has the capacity to cause severe structural issues.
Dry rot, however, is the most severe form of fungal decay in properties. This is because it’s capable of spreading throughout an entire building and destroying the property’s fabric. What’s more, it can affect any unprotected timber with a moisture content of as little as 20%.
Wet and dry rot can be a product of penetrating damp and defective internal plumbing and have the capacity to significantly damage a property before the homeowner is even aware.
When it comes to identifying wet rot, you may notice some of the following:
In identifying the stages of dry rot, you may notice:
As previously mentioned, wet rot thrives in damp conditions, meaning that anywhere from the floor to the roof could be affected. The saving grace of this is that as soon as the source of moisture is removed, the growth of wet rot will cease. Sources of damp include defective masonry pointing, leaking gutters and roofs, and rising damp.
The same can be said for dry rot in the sense that anywhere from the floor to the roof can be under threat. Similarly, dry rot can present itself in both modern and old structures. Though dry rot is also caused via dampness, it doesn’t require as much moisture as wet rot. Most frequently, dry rot will be a result of plumbing leaks, defective masonry and gutters, penetrating damp, and leaking roofs. Due to the lack of ventilation in underfloor and roof areas, these are the most common areas for dry rot to develop.
Any form of rot requires specialist treatment, wherein the source will need to be located and eliminated. The process may include:
Since the cause and extent of dry rot are different from wet rot, a different method of treatment is required. This may include:
If you suspect that your property is suffering from rot, don’t hesitate in finding a solution. Discover more about our wet rot treatment services here and get in touch to learn what we can do for your property.