FAQ’s – Dry Rot
What Is Dry Rot?
True Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans) is ‘the’ major building decay fungus and one of the most insidious and destructive problems a property can have. It often causes very extensive and costly damage as it spreads from area to area looking for its food source, timber.
When it finds the timber, the mycelium destroys it, as it spreads rapidly, even into adjoining properties. Unfortunately, much of this may have already happened, before you realise you have a problem and by then, considerable damage has been caused.
What Are The Signs Of Dry Rot?
You may have noticed a smell of mushrooms when you first walk into the room, you are constantly wiping a red, rust coloured dust from your furniture, your timber floor feels ‘springy’ when you walk on it, or joinery is showing signs of cracking.
If you have noticed any of these, it is possible you have Dry Rot and the sooner you eradicate it, the less damage will be caused and the less it will cost.
Tapco HomeDry damp and timber surveyors are fully qualified to the high standards of the Property Care Association (PCA) and have many years of remedial treatment experience, with both domestic and commercial properties.
This ensures they assess and correctly diagnose the extent and cause of the attack, prior to submitting specific recommendations for long-term, guaranteed protection of your property.
What Causes Dry Rot?
The name Dry Rot is rather inappropriate since it requires water for germination, growth and survival. Indeed, water or dampness is the fundamental need of all wood destroying fungus and without either the fungus ceases to grow and dies.
When water penetrates wood, it allows bacteria and micro fungi to colonise. These break down part of the cell structure and the wood becomes porous which allows it to become even wetter. When the wood is sufficiently wet and other conditions are suitable, dry rot can colonise.
A minute spore, lands on damp timber and germinates before the first growth emerges. The fine filaments of fungal growth, hyphae, soon develops into a larger mass of mycelium which grows over and into the wood and through masonry.
It is very important that the source of the moisture is located, immediately repaired and the area is kept ventilated until the restoration treatment commences.
How To Treat Dry Rot?
Dry Rot remedial work carried out by Tapco HomeDry is very thorough, but by its nature, disruptive. First, we find the cause of the moisture and immediately rectify it. Wall plaster is then progressively removed to trace the strands (Hypha) and locate any concealed timbers.
All structurally weakened timbers are removed and carefully disposed of. Once the full extent of the attack has been exposed, the walls and other masonry are prepared and thoroughly sterilized, using a fungicidal masonry solution.
The remaining localised timbers are treated with a high-performance fungicidal preservative and new timbers are installed, using pre-treated timber. The walls are then re-plastered in accordance with our own specification and affected joinery is replaced to match existing as closely as possible. All associated building works and decorative finishes are carried out by us in accordance with good building practice.