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Identifying Dry and Wet Rot
Timber is one of the great natural resources that is used in both the home and garden. However, it is a vulnerable material that needs to be protected. This post reveals how you can protect your timber from wet and dry rot.
What is Dry Rot?
Dry rot is the most serious form of fungal decay. Once it spreads it can damage the structural integrity of the building.
What is Wet Rot?
Wet Rot occurs more frequently, however it is less serious than dry rot. Decay occurs on wet timber which continues to remain damp.
Although usually confined to wood, decay can also occur on damp plastic, wallpaper and carpets. Why does wood rot occur?
If timber remains damp for long periods of time, soft wood rot will begin to develop causing the timber to soften. However if the timber has a moderate moisture content but is also freely accessible to air, a dry rot can develop which can be far more serious.
If structural materials begin absorbing damp from either a leaky pipe or a leaky roof, wet rot will begin to develop. To solve this problem it is important to stop the cause of the damp or isolate the timber from the damp source before treating the affected areas. When treating the area, do not forget to treat the areas that are not yet affected as this will prevent future outbreaks of the decay.
The appearance of wet rot may darken the timber and develop a characteristic cracked appearance. Some wet rots may result in bleaching of the wood; these are more common in doors and window frames. Eventually, the wood loses its strength and in some situations may become dangerously unsafe.
Dry rot is far more dangerous as it digests the parts of the timber that gives it its strength and stiffness. Dry rot can spread without any source of moisture because it is able to generate moisture through the digestion of wood. This helps the fungus maintain atmospheric relative humidity under poorly ventilated conditions. As the decay spreads, it will begin to cause problems with the structural integrity of the building. If the dry rot is not identified immediately, it is necessary to remove and replace all of the affected timber. Masonry surfaces will need to be sterilised with a masonry dry rot treatment and all remaining sound timber should be treated with a dual purpose dry rot treatment fluid to prevent any further outbreaks of the decay.
It is important that the two types of decay are distinguished since they require different treatment. However, both decays require professional diagnosis and treatment.
Call Permagard today on 0117 938 1596 and let us answer any of your questions in relation to wet and dry rot and our range of timber treatments.