Wet rot and dry rot, two different types of rot, both can cause damage to properties, but what is the difference between the two?
Wet rot is a type of fungal infection of timber, the fungus takes hold when there is a high level of moisture and damp in wood. When timber is affected by wet rot, the wood becomes weak and begins to break down and often changes colour, whether it may be lighter or darker. Once the wood dries out, the wood will still be weak because the damage is done and become flaky when it is pressed.
Wet rot remains confined to the source of damp which makes it easier to treat but if it is left untreated it can cause some serious structural damage.
There are three types of Wet Rot:
- Cellar fungus (Coniophora puteana)
- Mine fungus (Poria vaillantii)
- Phellinus contigus
Check out our What is wet rot page to find out more.
Dry rot which is less common than wet rot, is also a fungus that attacks timber in properties but is much more serious than wet rot and can spread rapidly. Dry rot thrives in damp spaces with no or poor ventilation such as floorboards or behind panelling, making it hard to spot.
Unlike wet rot, dry rot can spread rapidly out of its ‘moisture zone’ and can even spread through thick walls in search to attack timber. An outbreak can travel so fast that it can affect a whole structure of a building in a short space of time.
An outbreak of dry rot may appear as a mushroom-like fruiting body or fine grey-white hyphae strands spreading over wood or when a lot of strands are together a mass of ‘cotton wool’ style of growth as in the photo, along with large cracking, a change in colour, and the timber becoming weak and brittle.
Dry rot is a serious concern that requires expert treatment!
Check out our What is dry rot page to find out more.
If you think your property has a case of wet rot or dry rot, contact us to book a free survey.