This fungus causes decay primarily under conditions of restricted
ventilation, and high humidity. Dry rot can remain active in timber
down to 20% moisture and can attack dry timber. The fungus can grow
throughout the fabric of the building if conditions are suitable.
It can penetrate through brickwork and masonry, and behind plaster,
decaying the timber in its path. Decaying timber develops 'cuboidal'
cracking, and its usually overgrown by masses of grey-white mycelium.
Plate-like fruiting bodies produce millions of rusty-red spores
(seeds) as a reddish dust. These spores spread the fungal infection
to other sites.
Surveyor identifies dry rot in a part of your property, he may eventually
need to have some exposure work carried out, such as the lifting
of floorboards to enable him to ascertain the fullest extent of
any fungal attack. This is an important consideration and property
owners should "beware the company" that gives recommendations or
quotations based solely on a relatively superficial inspection of
any fungal problem. The treatment of dry rot will commence with
the cutting out of the attack by the removal of all infected timber
and plaster to a specified distance beyond the last visible signs
of infection. Exposed masonry is drilled to facilitate deep sterilisation
prior to reinstatement.
are other forms of fungal decay that attack property apart from
dry rot, the principal one being the wet rot Coniophora puteana.
Although not so serious, they can still be a cause of structural
problems in buildings and should be dealt with to prevent future
deterioration. Wet rot decay is normally restricted to excessively
damp timber and can be easily mistaken for dry rot in certain circumstances.
Expert advice is, therefore, necessary to determine the precise
form of attack. Treatment may sometimes only necessitate the replacement
of unsound timber and possibly the application of fungicide to replacement
and adjoining timbers. The damp condition that has caused the infection
must be eliminated simultaneously.