Wet rot is related to all sorts of fungus species, but Cellar Fungus (Coniophora puteana) is the most common form of wet rot. Cellar Fungus, a brown rot-inducing fungus, grows fast and has an effect on both hardwood and softwood. This fungus thrives in damp areas producing brown strands germinating from rotting wood.
Cellar Fungus causes wood to darken. The fungus produces cracks that invade the timber fibres that make the structure weak. If no treatment is done, the whole room would be infected resulting in more expensive wooden structure repairs and replacement.
One difference between wet rot from dry rot is the fruiting body. Wet rot’s fruiting body is rarely seen, which is brown, has a mild lumpy texture and margins that are colour cream.
What are the Different Types of Wet Rot?
Wet rot can come from different fungal species, but the most common is Coniophora puteana or cellar fungi.
Another source of wet rot is the mine fungus (Fibroporia vaillantii) which has a distinguishing cuboidal cracking when the wood is decaying.
The spores from wet rot are present in the atmosphere. Materials that have cellulose are prone to spore attacks with the ideal condition (moist and dark areas).
What Makes Wet Rot Appear?
Wet rot happens when there is too much presence of moisture in timber for a long time. Wet rot causes the timber to decay, making it soft and porous.
The fungus feeds off moisture from the wood resulting in noticeable signs of wet rot or dry rot damage on the timber. If the environment is ideal for fungal growth, it is only then that dry and wet rot spores will develop and affect timbers.
Life Cycle of Wet Rot
Moisture is needed for wet rot to start growing. Wood is hygroscopic, so it tends to absorb moisture from wet earth and walls. Wood can also absorb moisture from high humidity like that which helps the growth of Aspergillus such as moulds. The colonisation of fungi causes the cell structure to breakdown partially, resulting in a more porous timber. If the moisture in the timber is maintained above 30%, it provides the perfect condition for timber rutting to be infected. Wet rot then colonises and germinates, leading to the decay of timber.
How to Identify Wet Rot
Some symptoms of dry rot and wet rot are alike, that is why it is not easy to identify wet rot. A professional is capable of identifying wet rot from other kinds of rot. An expert can determine the type of rot by the varying colours of the timber decay and the type and size of cracks during the wet rot progression.
The main issue with wet rot is it usually develops in the hidden parts of the house or property (e.g., in the loft, behind the stairs, under the flooring). Wet rot usually comes undetected and is only discovered when it already has developed into a bigger problem.
Can Wet Rot Spread?
Wet rot does not spread, unlike dry rot. The misconception of some is that if it does not spread, it can be left untreated. Wet rot can still cause serious damage to the structure of your property. Wet rot won’t affect the masonry. The growth of wet rot will stop when moisture is eliminated. It is necessary to find and fix the main culprit for the treatment of wet rot to be successful.
What Does Wet Rot Smell Like?
Unlike dry rot, wet rot emits a certain earthy odour. Wet rot has a musty odour that smells like soil rotting.
How Does Wet Rot Affect the Structure of a Property?
Untreated wet rot can be dangerous because the timber will begin to lose its firmness. Once the timber becomes soft, the affected part can be damaged.
Reach out to Southern Damp Proofing for Your Wet Rot Solutions
Our experts at Southern Damp Proofing knows wet rot better than anyone. Our experience in the field of wet rot treatment is unmatched in the UK. With us, you are guaranteed the most fitting solution for your wet rot problem, no matter how large or small the issue is. Our specialists are highly trained to perform every job impeccably.
You can contact us to know more about our wet rot treatments and we can have your property surveyed by our local specialists. We have worked in areas such as London and the South East England. No matter the size of the wet rot issue, we can give you assistance. Give us a call and we will talk to you about our expertise and what we can do to help you with your wet rot problem.