Dry rot refers to outbreaks of wood decay by the fungus Serpula lacrymans. Dry rot can be difficult to detect early as it usually spreads out of sight, under floors, behind skirting boards or wall panels. It can cause major structural damage and needs to be addresses very quickly. Dry rot spreads agressively unlike wet rot.
Dry rot does need moisture to grow, which could be caused by a drip from a leaky pipe, rain water from the roof, or damaged gutters or down pipes.
Some of the first signs can be:
- A very strong smell of mushrooms.
- Cubing to wood similar to that found in burnt wood but without the blackening.
- Large patches of orange / brown dust which are the spors of the dry rot fungus.
- Fine tendrals can be seen travelling up walls.
- Mushroom like fruiting bodies appear on timbers.
Treating the problem needs to addressed in stages, firstly, removing the source of moisture that is allowing the dry rot to grow. A minor outbreak can then be treated with fungicide, however, it is common for dry rot to spread before it is noticed , unfortunately requiring the removal and replacement of plaster, applying a fungicide and the replacement of timbers that are damaged.