what is dry rot, how does it occur and how can we prevent it?
Dry rot is a type of fungi that eats away and feeds on wood. Specifically the parts of wood that maintain its stiffness and strength. Over time the wood will weaken as the fungi eats away at it which can cause permanent damage to the wood resulting in it needing to be replaced. Untreated dry rot can be costly to property owners because often it’s not the easiest thing to identify and remove.
how to identify dry rot
Anywhere where there is wood dry rot can be found. If the conditions are right, dry rot can form and begin to eat away at timber within the building. It’s also important to know that the fungus can spread in search of new food. If there is timber near the rot it can spread into new timbers and wear those away too.
Mycelium growth looks like cotton wool can be white or grey. like substance. Mycelium has the ability to spread extensively across numerous building materials in search for a new source of food – in this case, wood.
Fruiting body AKA Sporophore
The fruiting body or sporophore can be identified from its ‘pizza-like’ appearance. Fruiting bodies can appear in many different shapes and sizes. These mostly depend on the conditions in which the fungus is growing. Most of these are a rusty reddish colour (the spores) the outer parts are a lighter white colour. The spore dust from these fruiting bodies can be an early indication to a property owner that dry rot is present.
As dry rot damages wood by drying it out over time by removing the moisture. A good indication of a dry rot problem is by looking at the potentially damaged wood itself. The wood will look dried out and will have shrunken in size due to the rot. It’ll be brittle and warped and the would could have cracks running through it.
if you cant see it, you might be able to smell it
A common way to identify dry rot, especially when you cant physically see it, is when you can small a damp, musty and fungal smell. The smell may not actually mean there’s a dry rot issue, but it could indicate an issue with dampness. It’s important to know that dampness can often lead to dry rot so keep that in mind if you do experience these smells.