What is Wet Rot?

While the term Wet Rot is used to refer to multiple fungus species, the most common type manifests in the form of Cellar Fungus (Coniophora puteana). This brown species has sheet-like growth, sprouting delicate threads from the infected wood. Wet rot is distinct in that its fruiting body is scarcely seen, but tends to have a lumpy texture with cream-colored margins.

What is Dry Rot?

Dry rot occurs in timber that has been exposed to damp and developed wood decay fungus. This fungus lives on wet wood and causes rot.

The decay fungi spread delicate threads, hyphae, through the timber. These threads weaken the timber by breaking down the wood fiber. Dry rot generally refers to the effect of the damage to the timber, rather than the cause.

The principal cause of rot is excessive humidity, because the rot fungi transport moisture through the timber to the drier areas, weakening it in the process.

Wet Rot Related services in London

  • 01Wet Rot Prevention & TreatmentsRead more
  • 02What is Wet RotRead more
  • 03What Causes Wet RotRead more
  • 04Wet Rot vs Dry RotRead more
  • 05Symptoms of Wet RotRead more
  • 06How to stop Wet RotRead more
  • 07How to Prevent Wet RotRead more

What is the difference between Wet Rot and Dry Rot?

The major difference between the two is the degree of mycelium progression on the timber surface and the fungus’ ability to spread to other wood via adjoining masonry.

Wet Rot needs more moisture than Dry rot to germinate. Dry rot is however more likely to quickly spread over a greater area through capillaries amid brick/mortar and their joints to affect adjacent areas.

Although Dry Rot may denote that it does not require humidity, it needs about 20%. It occurs in areas that are out of sight, meaning that they cause extensive damage before getting noticed. Wet rot, however, grows on very wet timber, at about 50% humidity.

A key feature of Dry Rot is the ability to spread over dry surfaces, including chemically treated ones, to find wet wood to infest. Wet Rot cannot spread over dry surfaces, making them much safer since they hardly spread beyond the area of attack. The wetted area has to be quite severe for Wet Rot to spread, making them more obvious to identify and isolate.

Correctly identifying the difference between dry and wet rot is the first step to ridding your property of one or the other. The two types of rot require different treatment.

Where does Wet Rot grow?

Wet Rot is generally confined to wet timber, and remains decidedly so. Timber is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from adjacent material like earth and wet walls. Wet Rot will colonize such timber resulting in a partial breakdown. This, in turn, causes timber porosity. Timber with a moisture content of over 30% is a perfect breeding ground for Wet Rot and decay.

Where does Dry Rot grow?

Dry Rot grows on wet timber with a moisture content above 20%. It causes damage while hidden from plain view. It may seem surprising that something like Dry Rot fungus, which spreads so quickly, can go unnoticed for long. This is because the fungus grows in areas where people do not look- in lofts, behind plaster, and under floorboards. It is therefore important to know both the elusive and obvious signs of Dry Rot.

The last stages of the Dry Rot life cycle are perhaps the most obvious. Their fruiting structure appears when the rot can no longer get sustenance from the timber and need to release spores into the atmosphere to start the cycle afresh.

Book a Wet or Dry Rot Survey and Treatment Appointment

We have shown that it’s important to determine the cause and type of rot before considering a corrective action. This is why a detailed diagnosis should be done by a professional. The inspection should precede a report bearing the details and recommended cause of action.

Our certified timber surveyors know all about rot. We have decades of experience working across London and the South East England. We are more than happy discussing our field and how we can help. Our timber and damp surveys will identify both rot and the underlying root cause. Call us today to find out more about Dry Rot and the available treatments.