Dry and Wet Wood Rot and Their Causes
Dry Rot and Wet Rot are both types of wood destroying fungi that attack timber in order to extract food to maintain growth and the generation of spores. Timber that has been affected often exhibits a significant loss of weight.
In buildings, the result is the deterioration and eventual destruction of the timber with serious consequences in the case of major structural sections.
This problem affects all types of property, whether historic or modern. Dampness combined with a lack of sufficient ventilation provides the ideal conditions for a fungal attack.
Dry Rot :
This fungus is the more serious of the two, requiring fast specialist action in order to avoid any extensive damage. It is malignant and will spread even through very thick walls in search of timber to attack. Timber that is affected by dry rot is often browned and brittle with fractures and can sometimes easily be crumbled by hand.
It requires just over 20% moisture level for spore germination. When this type of rotting occurs, fine greyish strands will develop from the spore, and spread to form mycelial growth which can vary from grey to pure white in wet conditions. Fruiting bodies give off millions of spores in the form of red dust.
Wet Rot is a common cause of structural defects. A moisture content of 50 to 60% is needed for germination, but it doesn't spread through masonry and any growth ceases when the moisture is removed.