Identification of Dry Rot
It is important to identify whether timber decay has been caused by dry rot or another wood-destroying fungus such as one of the wet rots. This is because dry rot has the ability to travel through building materials other than timber, giving outbreaks the potential to spread quickly through a building. For this reason additional measures (e.g. masonry sterilisation) often have to be taken when treating dry rot outbreaks over and above those necessary when dealing with outbreaks of other wood-rotting fungi.
Typical indications of dry rot include:
- Wood shrinks, darkens and cracks in a ‘cuboidal’ manner (see picture)
- A silky grey to mushroom coloured skin frequently tinged with patches of lilac and yellow often develops under less humid conditions. This ‘skin’ can be peeled like a mushroom.
- White, fluffy ‘cottonwool’ mycelium develops under humid conditions. ‘Teardrops’ may develop on the growth.
- Strands develop in the mycelium; these are brittle and when dry and crack when bent.
- Fruiting bodies are a soft, fleshy pancake or bracket with an orange-ochre surface. The surface has wide pores.
- Rust red coloured spore dust frequentky seen around fruiting bodies.
- Active decay produces a musty, damp odour.
Important Note: Dry rot can cause widespread structural damage. We recommend that a professional timber treatment company is called in to carry out a survey if dry rot is suspected. If you suspect dry rot contact our technical department and we will be happy to arrange for an experienced timber treatment company to contact you.