Wet Rot Treatment

Wet Rot

Wet rots are fungi that attack timber in order to gain nutrients and grow, thereby destroying the cellulose and sometimes the lignin of the wood in the process. This results in a weakening of the timber that can severely reduce the structural integrity of the timber. This sometimes results in full timber replacement to affected areas.

Wood rot can affect all types of building irrespective of the property’s age. Wet rots in buildings thrive in damp, moist environments where there is poor ventilation.

Wet rots cause many symptoms in wood, including shrinkage, cracking, brittle appearance, fibrous texture, lightening or darkening of the timber.

Spores of wet rot germinate in the timber, resulting in growth that feeds on the timber and spreads across many metres in severe cases. A fruiting body will likely develop and release more spores – the cycle therefore repeats!

Image of wetrot

The Cause:

High moisture content in wood allows the fungus to establish. The source of excess moisture in properties can be due to many causes, such as gutter leaks, plumbing leaks and roofing defects. Poorly ventilated environments like sub-floors and roof voids can also lead to the environment suited to wet rot outbreaks.

Wet rot is a group of many species of wood rots. These can be subdivided into brown and white rots, which have different effects on the wood dependent on what type of rot is present.

Brown Rots:

  • Presents as cuboidal cracking and timber shrinkage, with a darkening of the timber being very likely
  • The most common type of brown rot found is ‘Cellar Fungus’ (Coniophora Puteana)
    • The vegetative part (mycelium) of Cellar Fungus presents itself as a dark brown, sheet-like growth with delicate brown threads sprouting from the rotting wood
    • White sheets of mycelium can sometimes be seen in early stages of development
    • The rarely seen fruiting body is brown with a slightly lumpy texture and cream coloured margins
  •  Another common brown rot fungus found is ‘Mine Fungus’ (Fibroporia Vaillantii)​

White Rots:

  • Present with a stringy, fibrous texture and often lead to a lightening of the timber’s colour
  • The most common type of white rot found is Phellinus Contiguus – which has no common name!
    • The vegetative part of the fungus presents itself as a light brown, sheet-like growth
    • Bunches of light brown threads may sprout from rotting wood
    • The fruiting body is brown, has lots of small pores and a woody nature. It can have a corrugated appearance and forms to the contour of the affected timber
  • The other most frequently found white rots are Pleurotus Ostreatus (Oyster Fungus) and Donkioporia Expansa, another fungus with no common name.

 

The Solution:

The primary solution is to control the environment that is allowing the growth of the wet rot. The cause of the dampness or water ingress needs to be identified and controlled or fixed.

Poorly ventilated rooms suffering from condensation should be fitted with additional ventilation such as extractor fans, a service Garratt’s provides along with our other damp controls.

The next step is to eradicate the rot, plus removal and replacement of the affected timbers where necessary, including isolation of new and some existing timbers from damp masonry.

At Garratt’s, we specialise in the treatment of both dry and wet rots. A free survey is provided and the observations and solutions 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 carry out all necessary works to eradicate the rot.

                                                           

 Garratt’s Damp & Timber Ltd; your solution begins here…

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