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What is the difference between Dry Rot and Wet rot? Both conditions affect timber and they are both associated with aggressive fungal decay. However the main difference between the two is that Dry Rot (Serpula Lacrymans) requires less moisture to germinate and grow than wet rot. Dry rot is more likely to spread over a much greater area travelling through the capillaries between the stone/brick and the mortar joints to affect adjoining areas.
Wet Rot (Coniophora Puteana) -also known as "Cellar Fungus" generally requires a moisture content of upwards of 50% to germinate.It tends to develop on permeable surfaces , usually timber, where there is a high level of moisture. If wet rot is left to grow it can weaken timber. This will often lead to structural damage. It is most commonly found in joist ends, skirting boards and external joinery. Fortunately Wet Rot will stay confined to the damp areas and will only grow where there is timber present.
Reasons you may have high moisture content are generally a consequence of faulty functioning water systems such as plumbing, gutters, downpipes, stone pointing or roofing defects such as missing or slipped tiles. Once the moisture is removed, and the cause of it corrected, wet rot will cease to grow.
Presents itself as cuboidal cracking & timber shrinkage. The most common brown rot found is ‘Cellar Fungus’ (Coniophora Puteana).
The vegetative part (mycelium) of the 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 fruiting body is brown with a slightly lumpy texture and cream coloured margins, however this is rarely seen.
Another common brown rot fungus found is ‘Mine Fungus’ (Fibroporia Vaillini).
Presents itself in a stringy, fibrous texture.
The most common white rot found is Phellinus Contiguus and 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 ‘hugs’ the affected timber.
The other most frequently found white wet rots include Oyster Fungus (Pleurotus Ostreatus, Donkioporia Expansa)
The priority is to find the cause that is allowing the growth of the wet rot. The cause of the dampness needs to be identified and fixed (such as unblocking guttering). Once our technician has discovered the root of the problem,the next step is to eradicate the rot – removal and replacement of the effected timber and masonry and damaged plasterwork. Any timbers that remain in place will need irrigating and sterilizing or we can refit new joists, skirting boards and will refit new plasterboard.
Abbey Damp specializes in the treatment of dry and wet rots. We offer a free survey and send over a written recommendation. 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.