How to Identify the Difference Between Dry and Wet Rot

A question commonly asked in the industry is “what is the difference between dry and wet rot. These are the two most common types of fungal decay, and both can cause structural damage to the property. Identifying which type of rot you have is the first step in eradicating the fungal decay. Dry Rot is the more serious issue, it causes the most damage to the property and can spread to destroy large amounts of timber. Wet Rot is a more common issue but luckily it is only confined to the area of timber that is damp.

It can be difficult identifying the differences between Dry and Wet Rot. Some of the key features are;

Dry Rot

  • Fungus leaves deep cracks running across the grain
  • White sheets (mycelium growth) are often seen on the timber
  • Fungus displays a yellowish tint to it when exposed to light
  • The timber will be brown in colour and start to crumble
  • In some cases, large mushroom like bodies can grow through plaster and paint

Wet Rot

  • A black fungus can appear on the wood
  • The timber will likely be soft and spongy to touch
  • If decay has dried it will easily crack and crumble
  • Paint will be damaged on the wall, it can look black and damaged from underneath

When treating Dry and Wet Rot it is important that you contact a specialist to identify and rectify the issue. To treat Dry Rot a specialist will remove the infected timber and treat the area with a fungicide treatment. To prevent it from happening again underflow ventilation will be installed to improve airflow in the property.

To treat Wet Rot a specialist will identify the area that is affected. The infected area will then be removed and replaced by fresh timber. The surrounding area would then need to be treated by a wood preservative and hardener.

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