If you’re walking around your home when you notice a strange unpleasant smell, before you blame the dog, or the kids or anyone else in your home you might want to, consider the possibility that this unpleasant odour could be the result of dry rot.
Dry rot comes in a range of smells but there is a particular familiarity to each variant. On top of that many people will be likely to identify the smell differently, leading them to think it could be something else.
So what does dry rot smell like exactly? Well that depends on who you ask but dry rot is usually identified as having an earthy soil like smell. It’s also been known to have a mushroom like odour to some people – a smell which will usually get stronger the more the dry rot spreads.
The smell of dry rot itself is very unpleasant, but usually the smell and spores produced by it are not excessively harmful to people. However, dry rot can be a sign of a bigger problem and can lead to mould growth and severe structural damage which can be hazardous to your health.
Bad Smells Can Be Helpful
Yes the subtitle does sound a little strange but although the smell of dry rot is not exactly what anyone would call pleasant, the strong scent dry rot can produce is actually helpful in one respect, because it increases the chances of you noticing the dry rot infestation. Without this potent smell it’s entirely possible that you could live with a dry rot infestation for a considerable amount of time without realising it.
However in some cases if the conditions are right then dry rot can actually thrive without producing a very strong smell. This is because dry rot can still survive even when a building’s moisture content is quite low.
Dry rot can also sometimes be mistaken for the less serious wet rot. This is more common if the dry rot is yet to produce the white cottony style fungus that it’s known for. Luckily expert eyes will likely be able to identify which kind of rot your home is experiencing, so if you are unsure then getting an expert in is the best option. (Read more about our dry rot treatment service).
How Does Dry Rot Occur?
Dry rot spores are present everywhere to some degree: homes, offices, shops you name it. On their own these spores are harmless, but if water is added to mix then the moisture from it will cause the spores to germinate, then add a food source – paper, cardboard or wood and dry rot can flourish and begin by forming the white cotton wool like fungus that is so often associated with dry rot.
However, while dry rot is in its early stages of germination the fungus may still be undetectable – but you may be able to notice the smell. Which is why you should investigate thoroughly if you can smell a strong earthy scent in your home. (Checking all the wood furnishing in your home is a good first step for tracking down the source of the smell).
The earlier you locate the smell the easier and less expensive treating the dry rot infestation will be. So if you ever notice an unusual smell in the air – don’t ignore it, find it!