DRY & WET ROT

Dry rot and wet rot can affect buildings of all ages and, if decay is discovered, it should be identified and remedial action should be taken without delay.

Fungal decay occurs in timber which becomes wet for some time and is the result of the attack by one of a number of wood-destroying fungi. The most well known are Serpula lacrymans – the true dry rot fungus, Coniophora puteana – the Cellar fungus and Poria vaillantii – the Pore or Mine fungus.

 

Many other fungi also occur and some have recently been particularly linked with decay in door and window frames.

Dry rot is only caused by Serpula lacrymans and is the most serious form of fungal decay in a building. It can spread onto and destroy much of the timber. Wet rot occurs more frequently, but is less serious; decay is typically confined to the area where timber has become and remains wet.

The causes

Once a dry rot outbreak has started eating away at wood, it can be very difficult to stop it spreading.

 

It takes expert knowledge and appropriate specialist remediation to make sure dry rot is completely removed. 

 

In order to resolve a dry rot problem, we initially need to identify the causes of dry rot so we can determine the most appropriate treatments and advise on how to prevent future dry rot outbreaks.

 

For dry rot to be present in a building moisture and a food source (wood) need to be present.

Identify

What does dry rot look like and what can you do as a homeowner to identify the problem?

 

Dry rot becomes problematic and difficult for property owners when a dry rot outbreak progresses in non-visible areas of your property such as your stairs, loft, attic or flooring.

Dry rot can be found in any part of your home where there is timber so long as the environmental conditions exist for the outbreak

Treatment

In preparation for the application of preservatives, the timbers should be cleaned down to remove any excessive dust and debris.

 

Treatments using water based insecticides are very common and are generally successful and cost effective.

 

Chemicals are often applied by low pressure spraying but some insecticides can be applied by “fogging” or are brushed on. 

 

Furniture, ornaments and small items of timber can be treated by the use of heat, freezing or gas fumigation.

 

All these methods of treatment are highly specialised and should only be undertaken by people who are trained and competent.

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