Dry rot is a type of fungi that attacks timber in order to feed, destroying the cellulose 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 eventually as a fleshy ‘fruiting body,’ comprised of vegetative fibrous mycelium.
Spores of dry rot germinate in the pores of the timber, resulting in vegetation that feeds upon the timber before spreading to produce the 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 some 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 rot.
Once identified, dry rot should be treated as quickly as possible to prevent further spreading and weakening of the affected timber. Dry rot has the ability to extend it’s domain rapidly in the right conditions. A not un-common experience.
A high moisture content in wood allows the fungus to establish, usually due to water ingress, gutter leaks, plumbing leaks and roofing defects
Poorly ventilated environments
Dry rot is a single species and is classed as a type of brown 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 fruiting body appears as a body of reddish brown, with an outer perimeter of white with orange patches
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.
The next step is to eradicate the rot – removal of the affected timbers (where applicable) and sterilization of remaining timbers and masonry.
At Garratt’s, we specialise in the treatment of dry and wet rots. A free survey is provided where the solution will be written in plain English by our professional surveyors. Following our survey, you will have all the information required to book a visit from our team of technicians who can remedy the outbreak in the most appropriate manner.