Dry Rot Treatment

How to Identify Dry Rot

Dry rot is a single species and is classed as a type of brown rot that requires only 28% moisture content in wood in order to start growing. Despite the name of the fungi, it will not materialise when there is no moisture in the atmosphere, although looks and acts differently from wet rot.

  • Dry rot (Serpula Lacrymans) is a destructive rot that can cause serious structural damage to timber
  • The vegetative (mycelium) part of the fungus exhibits two different appearances. Either a silvery-grey skin with lilac and yellow colouration or a white, cotton wool-like, carpet which is usually seen in more humid environments
  • The fruiting body is a large, fleshy plate that can grow across timber, masonry and soil. The body appears as reddish brown, with an outer perimeter of white with orange patches

There are a number of signs that may point to the presence of dry rot in the building, some more common than others. Some of the symptoms may include:

  • A musty, damp smell in the room/building
  • Damaged/decaying timber that may also feature grey strands and deep cuboidal cracks
  • Patches of spore dust that may appear orange or brown
  • Large mushroom-like bodies growing on timber
  • Weak timber that easily crumbles in your hand
  • Movement to floors

If you notice any of these signs in your building’s structure, you should waste no time in calling in a professional to diagnose and treat the problem area before serious damage sets in. Dry rot left untreated over a prolonged period of time has the potential to damage the timber structure beyond repair, requiring a complete replacement. Misdiagnosing dry rot as a wet rot can be a very expensive mistake!

How We Treat Dry Rot

The primary solution to dry rot is to control the environment that is allowing its growth. The cause of the dampness needs to be identified and fixed to remove the source of water.

Poorly ventilated rooms suffering from condensation should be fitted with additional ventilation, such as extractor fans and/or sub-floor vents, which are services Garratt’s offer.

The next step is to eradicate the rot – removal and replacement of the affected timber and masonry. Any timbers that remain in place will need irrigating and sterilising.

What Exactly is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is a type of fungi that attacks timber in order to feed, destroying the cellulose and lignin of the wood in the process. This results in weakening of the timber and if left unchecked, it can severely weaken the timber’s structural integrity. This may result in full replacement timber being required.

Wood rots can affect all types of building, both old and new. Dry rot in London buildings and properties thrives in damp, moist environments, particularly areas where there is poor ventilation which is common in older buildings and basements. The rot appears as a fleshy ‘fruiting body,’ comprised of vegetative fibrous mycelium. In order for dry rot to form, there must be water/moisture in the atmosphere and a food source (timber).

Spores of dry rot germinate in the pores of the timber, resulting in vegetation that feeds upon the timber before spreading to produce a fruiting body. This fruiting body will release more spores and the cycle will continue.

The timber structure will begin to shrink and crack, become brittle and take on a darker colour. But beware, as these signs are also typical of wet rot. With dry rot, the shrinking of the timber will create cuboidal cracking – the depth of this cracking is greater in dry rot than wet.

Once identified, dry rot should be treated as quickly as possible to prevent further spreading and weakening of the affected timber.

The Cause:

  • High moisture content in wood allows the fungus to establish, usually due to gutter leaks, plumbing leaks, roofing defects and defective drains
  • Poorly ventilated environments

Dry Rot Treatment Cost

The treatment for dry rot varies depending on the severity of the outbreak. In order for our team to be able to offer a definitive quotation, we would need to be able to inspect the property. If caught early enough, the treatment required will not be as invasive or costly as it might be if spotted further down the line once the outbreak has set in and spread.

At Garratt’s Damp & Timber, we offer free surveys where our team of experienced professionals will assess and diagnose the damp problem in your home, offering a no obligation quotation. We will clearly detail how severe any outbreak is, what work will be required to remove the problem and how long it will take.

Dry Rot Specialists in London

Without the proper attention, dry rot can completely ruin your home. Because of this, you should not be willing to take any chances. Here at Garratt’s Damp & Timber, we are a team of dry rot specialists in London who have been tackling similar problems to yours for more than two decades.

On top of our unrivalled experience and skillset, we also offer a 20-year guarantee on all timber treatments, including dry rot. All work is carried out to industry standards, ensuring that once you have called out the Garratt’s Damp & Timber team, your damp problems will be a thing of the past.

For more information on our range of services, or to request a free home survey and quotation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. You can do so by sending us a message via the contact page or calling us on 0208 535 7536 during office hours.

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