Dry rot is a form of timber decay caused primarily by fungal growth. It is also one of the most damaging conditions you can get in a property, severely impacting structural integrity as it aggressively spreads from one area of timber to the next.
Contrary to its name, dry rot needs moisture to flourish and grow. This moisture could come from many sources such as a drip from a leaky pipe, rain water from the roof, damaged gutters or down pipes.
Once dry rot starts growing it can inflict serious damage on timber anywhere in a property. Worst of all, the longer dry rot goes untreated the more destructive it can become. It is not all doom and gloom though, professional dry rot treatment programmes can eradicate the problem and the earlier dry rot is identified the easier, and more cost effective, treating it becomes.
Depending on the extent of your dry rot problem, you might need to remove a lot of structural timber from your home, so it’s best to have The Rot Repair Bear Team assist you. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you might damage the structural integrity of your property even further.
Any wood that has been infected by the fungus has to be removed and replaced. It is recommended that you also remove healthy wood from 3’ surrounding the site of the original infection, and the new timber needs to be treated with a fungicide.
It’s also a good idea to treat other structural timber in your home to prevent future infestations. The dry rot treatment will stop the mould spores from settling in again, even if the wood does accidentally get damp in the future.
If the dry rot problem has spread from the wood to the structural masonry, you will need to remove this too. The dry rot spreads by mycelium, which are like thin tentacles that spread through the damp materials. Once you’ve removed the affected plaster and mortar, keep removing until you've cleared a distance of 3’ from the last mycelium.
Once you’ve repaired the damaged areas it’s important to make sure the room is well ventilated, as this will help to dry out the damp patches. Make sure the curtains are open during the day: dry rot likes warm, dark, and damp places, so plenty of natural light will also hinder its progress. You should also invest in a dehumidifier and put it in the room that was affected by the dry rot. This will keep air moisture levels at an acceptable level, and prevent the need for further rounds of dry rot treatment.
Dry rot spores are present in almost every property to some degree and on their own they are harmless. However, if they are given sufficient moisture they will germinate and form a large fluffy cotton wool like fungus. This fungus will eventually grow into a fruiting body that will release more spores, starting the whole dry rot lifecycle all over again.