Although its name may suggest otherwise, dry rot actually requires a source of moisture for an outbreak to occur, much like other forms of wood rotting fungal decay. It differs from other forms of rot as it is able to travel through masonry in search of new timber to attack, making professional dry rot treatment essential.
Dry rot typically occurs when there are poorly ventilated conditions in a building and if left over a long time timber goes brown, can start to crack and the surface becomes powdery. This can be very damaging to the structural integrity of the building if left, as the fungus digests the supporting wood.
It exists when there is inadequate ventilation and a source of damp, this could be from something as simple as broken gutters and drainpipes which could allow water ingress. Dry rot is normally identified by the property owner when they see some of the tell-tale mushrooms or red spore dust. When a spore lands on damp timber the fungus starts to grow white strands known as hyphae. These allow the fungus to travel and grow rapidly through timber.
The final stage of this fungus is the ‘fruiting stage’ when fungus spores are released into the air. It’s this final stage which leads to the spread of the spores to other areas within the property.
Where is Dry Rot found?
This type of rot does not like being exposed to draughts, so it hides from view – behind panelling, behind skirting boards and under floors where it is damp.
Dry rot can affect all types of timber built properties, from historic buildings and churches, to modern buildings if the right conditions occur. Usually the dry rot will start on damp timber, spreading it’s mycelium through wood, concrete, brickwork and wall plaster in search of fresh timber to decay.