During the inspection visit, a further investigation of the cause of the Dry Rot outbreak ,turned out to be a leaking joint on a sink waste pipe above the Dry Rot outbreak which was found to be the sauce of moisture. The sauce of moisture from the leaking pipe had been running onto the load bearing timbers which had deteriorated with the result of a Dry Rot fruiting body and Mycelium showing in the picture taken at the time of the investigation inspection.
Dry Rot if left untreated can be devastating and destructive to most types of untreated timbers, plaster and mortar during its growth path.
An explanation of the term used and the life-cycle of dry rot can be broken down into four main stages.
The first stage is where Dry rot begins as a microscopic spore which, in high enough concentrations, can resemble a fine orange dust.
The second stage is i
f the spores are subjected to sufficient moisture they will begin to grow fine white strands known as hyphae.
The third stage
is as the Hyphae germinate they will eventually form a large mass known as Mycelium.
The final stage is the result of a fruiting body which pumps new spores out into the surrounding air.
These spores will then under the right temperature and conditions start the process again and grow into more fruiting bodies.
The result of this process is destruction of untreated timber as the moisture is drawn from the timber that is being affected.
The timber then becomes Dry so this is how the term Dry Rot evolved, even though it is a fungi.
The moisture is then drawn back to the fruiting body along its growth path.
Dry rot is very destructive if left untreated or is not removed or isolated. Even if the existing affected timbers are replaced or removed, Dry rot can outbreak again if not treated to the correct treatment specification.
This is why it is very important and wise to make sure that the outbreak is properly treated by an approved Dry Rot expert specialist who works to the correct specification for dry rot treatments and code of practice.
The right diagnoses and treatment measures are designed to protect your property investment for future years.
Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans) if left untreated can be very destructive to the structure of the building during its growth path.
It is very important to expose the full extent of the Dry Rot outbreak, including a margin of clearance beyond the last visible signs of growth in all directions.
The Mycelium growth strands, which look very much like a spiders web in some cases, searches through the substrate to collect moisture which is food for the Dry Rot fruiting body, which looks very much like a piece of leather and the spore dust it gives off are often bright orange or bright red in colour.
Dry Rot is usually found affecting timbers in areas where there is a source of moisture,( e.g, defective rain
water drainage systems, roof leaks, poor ventilation, failure of the existing Damp proof course etc) are just a few examples, but Dry Rot also likes dark humid atmospheres which helps it grow unseen behind Skirting's, Sub floor areas, Load bearing joists ends and Cavity walls.
It gives off a pungent smell which is very distinctive in odour, and this is one of the ways it can be identified as being Dry Rot and not to be confused with Wet Rot.
One of the important parts of treating Dry Rot is to firstly find where the outbreak originated from and remove the defects contributing to the damp conditions which caused the outbreak.
Once the area has been thoroughly exposed and the full extent of damage has been assessed, treatment measures can then be introduced using sterilisation, Fungicides and Biocide treatment techniques.
Ideally all Dry Rot affected areas should be left exposed as long as possible after treatments have taken place to help with the drying out of the masonry treated.
All timbers that are replaced should be treated with suitable wood preservative and isolated from direct contact with the masonry.
This can be achieved by treating and protecting any timber ends in touch with the masonry with D.P.M (Damp proof Membrane).
It is also important to create or improve the cross flow movement of air below sub floor areas by installing additional or larger vents, or air bricks.
This will help in controlling the moisture content of the underside of the floor structure below 20%