How to spot, prevent and treat Dry Rot.

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How can I spot if I have Dry rot in my roof.

Typical signs of dry rot to look out for include:

  • Wood shrinks, darkens and starts to crack 
  • A silky grey to mushroom coloured skin develops on the wood that can sometimes be peeled off.
  • Cottonwool patches develop on the effected timber with brittle strands that crack when bent.
  • Active decay produces a musty, damp odour. 

Other signs of dry rot, like dusty spores can be spotted at the advanced stages.

How can I tell if I have Dry Rot in the wood of my house?
Every house has timber in it and while it can last a long time if it is looked after. Dry Rot can rampage through  your home. It loves moist unventilated conditions,penetrates brickwork to get to your wood and can cause widespread destruction of structural timbers, skirting boards and door frames, and wood flooring. 

Because Dry rot thrives in damp, unventilated conditions, it can occur in the areas of a property that are hidden, like floor voids, or behind timber paneling, so damage may be extensive before the attack is discovered.

What are the signs to look for.
 Dry Rot and what signs to look for. Dry rot  first appears as off-white cotton-wool like sheets on brickwork and wood , later it develops fungal strands as thick as your small finger.  It often has a lemon-yellowish tinge when its exposed to light.

 
How do I know I have dry rot in wood in my house . The first signs can be whitish cotton-wool like sheets on brickwork and timber and/or large flat mushroom-like things growing through plaster or paint and numerous spores which are normally brick-red in colour. Deep cracks running across the grain are another worrying sign of Dry rot fungus.  Badly effected wood can be crumbled between your fingers. If you are not sure what to look for call in a specialist.

 

How to treat Dry Rot.

Treating dry-rot can involve removal of the all affected timber for a metre beyond the visible signs of the fungus and extensive chemical fungicide treatments for all adjacent timber and the brickwork of any contaminated walls and plaster. 

This process of treatment of the area effected by Dry rot and then replacing the effected timber is expensive so consult a recommended expert before agreeing to treatment.

Preventing Dry rot from effecting wood in my house.

Prevention is cheaper than cure, preventive measures include using environmental controls, like isolation and ventilation ensuring the damp, unventilated conditions required by dry-rot do not occur. 

Simple things like ensuring that the timber in your home does not become damp enough for dry-rot to attack, using joist hangers when replacing dry rot decayed joists with new timber instead of building them back into the brickwork, or having vents in your skirting boards to encourage ventilation of a floor void and strips of damp-proof membrane around the outside of replacement door and window frames will help too.

If you think you have dry rot attacking  the timber of your house, it's probably best to have the problem looked at by a specialist a.s.a.p. to stop the spread.  

 I don't offer this service but  the carpenter will give you a free quote for the remedial work listed in the specialists report.