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Timber Decay Treatments
Timber Decay is found in timbers that are in prolonged contact with dampness particularly in poor ventilated areas such as below floors and where defective gutters exist, rising damp or high ground levels exist, creating suitable conditions for decay to establish and flourish.
Fungal Decay is normally found as Dry rot “Serpula lacrymans” or Wet rot such as “Coniophora puteana” and other types of Wet rot may exist. Dry rot Decay can appear as a silky white sheet, yellow to lilac towards the edges and often red dust can be found around the affected area, successful Dry rot treatments normally depend upon the removal of the source of moisture, chemical treatments and replacement of contaminated timbers, where Dry rot is evident it is important to ensure all affected timbers are removed and chemical treatments where necessary are carried out fully to the affected area and involve sterilisation and irrigation treatments to masonry walls.
Our surveyors and operatives will inspect your property and undertake where necessary a full exposure investigation to establish fully the extent of concealed defects, which may be affected by Dry rot decay, a full report specification and quotation, will be provided.
Dry Rot – (Serpula Lacrymans)
Three factors are required for dry rot
Supply of food i.e. timber
Lack of Ventilation
The prevalence of spore dust in the air is such that spores will land and germinate on such timber.
The presence of these three ‘ingredients’ can give rise to dry rot in timbers. Once the outbreak occurs the fungus can spread quickly to dry areas. Mycelium is the tiny cotton wool type fungal growth, which can grow behind minute gaps behind plaster through mortar joints and between masonry gaps.
Once the mycelium has established itself strands grow from this in search of fresh timber where eventually unchecked growth can spread rapidly.
Dry rot life cycle.
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.
Wet Rot – (Coniophora Puteana)
This is less serious than dry rot but damage can be extensive especially in damp basements. Fungal growth will not affect dry timber thus treatment is less extensive than for dry rot and exposure work is not usually a major part of the treatment. The cause of dampness has to be identified and rectified. Under floor ventilation is a key requirement in keeping floor timbers dry.
Maintaining ground levels below the damp course especially in solid walled structures and ensuring the damp course is effective are also key factors. Defective down pipes gutters and pointing are all potentially contributory causes of fungal decay in timber. Timbers such as skirting in contact with damp masonry can cause fungal decay.
Treatment can be extensive when the structural strength of timber has been affected. Plaster needs to be removed and exposed masonry treated. Structural works may be required where timber lintels need to be replaced.