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Dry Rot and Wet Rot

The Difference Between Wet and Dry Rot

Dry rot is the most severe form of fungus decay in a building, spreads onto, and destroys much of the timber.

Wet rot fungus develops more frequently but is less serious, the decay is usually detained to where the timber becomes and stays wet.

wet rot treatment

Wet Rot and Dry Rot

  • Fungus affected timber shrinks and causes cracking generally along the grain of the timber
  • The rot affected timber may leave a surface veneer intact hiding the rot
  • Timber can feel soft and spongy to the touch
  • The mycelium can have a lemon-yellowish tinge
  • The mycelium turns to grey when older
  • Damp musty smell
  • Fruiting bodies grow when the rot is well established (mushroom like appearance)
  • Red spore dust from the fruiting body is evident in rooms.
  • Paint finish can appear damaged, highlighting the cracked timber below
  • Dry rot mycelium will grow along and through walls to find more timber to colonise and can spread right through a property

Identifying Wet Rot

  • Fungus affected timber shrinks and causes cracking to the timber
  • Timber is likely to feel soft and spongy to the touch
  • Discolouration of timber is often present
  • In some cases, mycelium strands may appear on the timber
  • Wet rot stays in the damp area and does not spread
  • Paint finish can appear damaged, highlighting the cracked timber below
  • Damp musty smell

What Is Wet Rot?

Wet rot is a fungal infestation which thrives in damp conditions. Any unprotected timber in your property from your roof to the ground floor which becomes damp is at risk of fungal attack.

There are many types of wet rot fungi and the infestation should be treated as soon as possible as it can structurally deteriorate timbers in your property or home.

Wet rot can often lead to major structural damage if it is left to grow unchecked. Fortunately, wet rot does not spread through masonry and the growth of wet rot will cease when the moisture is removed.

Any damp source can lead to a wet rot attack including damp from rising damp, leaking roofs, gutters, and problems with defective masonry pointing or render can all create the right damp conditions in your property to germinate the wet rot fungi. Wet rot will stay in the vicinity of the damp source.