Don’t ignore dry rot

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Dry rot is a wood destroying fungus that can cause huge damage to buildings if it is not treated effectively. The issue will initially attack timbers that have a high moisture content and aren’t given time to fully dry out. Once this happens the rot can spread to other building materials, weakening and destroying them in the process. The potential for spreading means you need to be quick to rectify the problem and must ensure all traces of it are removed.

There are several reasons why dry rot develops, all of which relate to timbers having a higher moisture content than they should. The problem can be caused by a number of factors including excessive condensation, leaks, rising damp and water penetrating through walls. Typically rot will begin when the moisture content rises above 20% so it is essential to manage the conditions and fix any issues quickly.

You can spot dry rot in a number of ways. The most common is cracking in a cuboidal manner as the wood dries. The cubes can range in size depending on the conditions and the type of wood but they are easy to identify. The wood will also shrink and darken in colour. Rotting timber produces a musty, damp odour so you should monitor for this and take action if you notice it.

When you do discover dry rot it is wise to arrange for a survey to be completed on the structure so you know exactly how far the rotting has spread. The inspection may also help to spot the causes of the high moisture levels. All surveys should be done by an experienced specialist so they know exactly what they are looking for.

When treating dry rot it is vital to remove rotten timbers and replace them. It is also advisable to take secondary measures to protect them against infection in the future. These include treating the timber with fungicide and using containment measures to protect masonry.

At A Slater and Son we offer flexible damp proofing services to suit all kinds of properties throughout Middlesbrough. We have plenty of experience with dry rot and can provide a bespoke solution based on the conditions. This can include installing protective measures to protect against rising and penetrative damp. If you would like to learn more about dry rot or need to arrange a rapid service please contact us.