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What is fungal decay?

Fungal decay refers to the attack of timber by a wood rotting fungus. Any timber with a moisture content above 19% can be affected, hence the necessity to keep the external fabric of a building in good condition. A damp course should be installed and particular attention should be paid to the underfloor ventilation of ground floor timber floors and the ventilation of loft areas. When an internal plumbing leak has occurred, it's essential that the dampened timbers are thoroughly ventilated as the situation dries out. Re-laying floor coverings too quickly can result in dry rot.

What is the difference between dry rot and wet rot?

True dry rot (Serpula Lacrymans) is the most serious form of fungal decay in buildings. It penetrates masonry to affect neighbouring properties and produces its own moisture to dampen previously dry timber. In a suitable environment the rate of growth can be rapid so prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Wet rot can be caused by a number of fungal species, the most common being Coniophora Puteana. It affects timber with a higher moisture content than that affected by dry rot and usually occurs in permanently damp situations.

How is it treated?

Dry rot requires specialist knowledge of the fungus and its characteristics to determine the extent of treatment. The team at Building Preservation Services in Taunton can establish the cause of the dampness and cure it. Removal of the affected timber is vital, as is the thorough sterilisation of masonry in the affected area. Specialised treatment is also required to all replacement timbers and to areas of exposed masonry where timbers are to be re-fitted.

When treating wet rot, Building Preservation Services will establish the source of the dampness, cure it and remove the affected timber. In certain circumstances wet rot can turn to dry rot so it is important to create a dry, healthy environment to prevent re-occurrence.

Do you have a case of dry rot or wet rot?
Call the experts at Building Preservation Services on 01823 323 363


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