Dry rot 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.


When our 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.


There 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.