Dry rot is a fungus that can seriously dammage the structure of your house, so make sure you're aware of the dangers
Dry rot is a fungus that thrives in slightly damp, not saturated, conditions. If the moisture content in your house is around 30 per cent then the timber structures are likely to develop dry rot and if it’s higher, wet rot.
The risk areas where drying may be delayed long enough for the rot to take hold and grow are concealed spaces and within floor or roof voids close to damp masonry, which provides a reservoir of moisture to feed the fungus.
The tell tale signs of incipient dry rot are whitish strands or filiaments, which can be hard to see initially. Once the timber shows signs of shrinkage and cracking, the rot is more advanced and if the red dust of spores is found then fruiting bodies will be present. (fig 147 & 148) In contrast, wet rot whitens timber and reduces it to a stringy substance.
If in any doubt, advice should be sought from a specialist surveyor or contractor ¬- timber treatment specialists will usually give initial advice without charge.
Hutton and Rostron www.handr.co.uk
Words: Jonathan Hetreed Image: Andrew Smith