Dry rot is wood decay caused by certain species of fungi that digest parts of the wood which give the wood strength and stiffness. It was previously used to describe any decay of cured wood in ships and buildings by a fungus which resulted in a darkly colored deteriorated and cracked condition. The life-cycle of dry rot can be broken down into four main stages. Dry rot begins as a microscopic spore which, in high enough concentrations, can resemble a fine orange dust. If the spores are subjected to sufficient moisture they will begin to grow fine white strands known as hyphae. As the hyphae germinate they will eventually form a large mass known as mycelium. The final stage is a fruiting body which pumps new spores out into the surrounding air.
Damp Proofing Dry rot
The first stage of treatment of dry rot is to find the source of the moisture and fix the fault. You will then need to determine the full extent of the dry rot outbreak. In order to do this you should open up the affected area by removing plaster and render in all directions as well as removing flooring and lifting floorboards. You should now be in a position to identify the infected timbers. Once you have identified the infected timbers, it is recommended that you cutback the timbers in-situ to at least 500mm beyond the last signs of fungal growth or hyphae strands.
You will then need to remove all fruiting bodies and visible spores. Clean all wall areas to remove surface growth including hyphae, mycelium and fruiting bodies. A stiff brush can be used on the walls if required. You should replace the timber with pre-treated timber. All remaining sound timber should then be liberally treated with a dual purpose dry rot treatment fluid. These specially formulated fungicides will kill dry rot and stop re-infestations, preventing any further outbreaks of the fungus.
Masonry surfaces will need to be sterilised with a masonry dry rot treatment. Dry rot treatments for masonry and brickwork involve applying a high strength fungicidal microemulsion concentrate either by spray or injection. Designed to penetrate deep into the substrate, the biocide targets the fungus and stops it from spreading. It delivers long lasting control of dry rot and fungal growth in the masonry. It can also be used as a subfloor steriliser where necessary in areas of dry rot outbreaks.
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