What Is Dry Rot

Dry rot is a very serious problem that affects many homes across the UK. If you are looking to either buy or sell a house that has this problem, then it should be treated as soon as possible to minimise the possible structural damage to your home. So, to help you handle this problem, this blog explains the seriousness along with some tips on treating dry rot.

What Is Dry Rot And How Is It Caused?

Serpula Lacrymans – or dry rot as it is more commonly known, is a destructive wood-rotting fungus that despite its name, attacks damp timber. The optimum temperature to grow is at 22ºC with the maximum temperature been 26 ºC.

Dry rot is very destructive because of its ability to spread on to all sorts of materials ranging from carpets to the living room and the furniture. One of the root causes is dampness. There are several types of dampness that can cause it but one of the main causes is penetrating damp. This can be as a result of heavy rainfall penetrating the property or because of damaged rainwater goods.

How To Tell If You Have Dry Rot

Dry rot is quite distinctive compared to other rots and has a few key characteristics.

– Mycelium growth. This type of growth is a white/grey cotton wool like substance and is normally present on the timber.
– The smell is also a key indicator that you have rot appearing in your property. This wood rotting fungus has a distinctive damp, musty odour which gets much stronger as the rot spreads throughout.
– The damaged timber will appear to be dried out and the wood will be broken up through cuboidal cracking. The wood also tends to darken as the attack gets worse.

There is often much confusion surrounding the differences between wet rot and dry as there are similarities between them both. This can often leave homeowners confused as to the nature of the problem. It is important that an inspection from a specialist is made as soon as possible to correctly identify the outbreak as well as put together an action plan to treat the affected area.

The main difference between wet rot and dry is that wet rot occurs more on a regular basis than dry and is less serious as it doesn’t spread and usually only attacks one timber. Wet rot needs a high moisture content of around 50 per cent for the rot fungus to be present while dry only requires moisture of 20 per cent. If wet rot is left untreated then it can cause structural problems to your property due to the timbers weakening from sustained dampness.

How To Treat And Prevent Dry Rot

If you are looking to sell your property, and you think you have a problem then treating should be carried out by a rot specialist to prevent further damage occurring, as well as ensuring that the correct type of rectification takes place.

The most important part of treating is to identify the source of damp issue as this is the main source of food for the rot to grow. There can be steps that can be undertaken by the property owner to reduce the risk, such as installing underfloor ventilation. This will remove the stale, moist air from the property and as a result reduce the risk of the outbreak.

Fixing any external issues your home may have will also help keep the risk of dry rot at bay. And in most cases this can be carried out by the homeowner. Things such as removing blockages from drainage pipes can help reduce the risk of penetrating dampness affecting your home. To prevent an outbreak from occurring again you will need a specialist contractor to correctly specify and apply the treatments to your home.

Dry Rot Specialist Devon

If you are unsure of how to deal with a dry rot outbreak and you need the problem treated effectively, then it is always best to contact a qualified surveyor. Having a thorough survey carried out can ensure that you will receive expert advice on the best way to deal with your problem and ensure that the issue will not occur again.

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Treating Dry Rot