10 Things You Really Need To Know About Dry Rot
Dry rot, or Serpula Lacrymans, has been given a huge amount of bad press worldwide. I want to be the one that sticks up for this fascinating and enigmatic underdog.
It was us that snatched it out of its native home and transported it over land and sea to our shores. We then installed it into our homes via the infected timber being used in traditionally constructed buildings.
When those buildings became wet due to a property defect or a plumbing fault, by sheer luck and chance, the special conditions for dry rot were created and it sprung to life.
It shouldn’t be feared though. I myself have grown and germinated dry rot and each time I do it, it takes weeks, sometimes months for me to find that “Goldilocks zone” for it to kick into action.
And each time I’m finished with it, I just leave it outside to dry out and it subsequently dies.
My top 10 Things You Really Need To Know About Dry Rot will highlight the reasons why you shouldn’t overreact and knock down your house if you have a dry rot outbreak.
- Dry rot is regarded as the ‘House Cancer’ of buildings. A bit dramatic, but left unchecked, can cause massive devastation.
- Dry rot’s latin name is Serpula lacrymans. It is derived from the latin words serpula meaning “a little snake”, and lacrymans, meaning “making tears”. It also gets a special mention in the Bible as “Leprosy of the house.” and the “Crying Fungus.”
- Its native homeland is at the base of Mount Everest and the surrounding Himalayan foothills.
- It was carried over here via the international logging trade with India. It is rarely found in the wild. It is more of a construction fungus now. It has been spread worldwide.
- The Dry rot fungus lurks and thrives in dark, poorly ventilated, damp indoor environments. Which are created by us and our lack of building care.
- Similar to all fungi, it requires water as an essential growth enabler. Without it, it cannot survive and it dies. No water, no Dry rot.
- Dry rot attacks only wet timber. It doesn’t attack masonry or any other building material that a property is made up of. And it does not carry water to dry timber in order to digest that timber.
- Dry rot gives off a characteristic ”mushroomy odour” or a strong musty smell. No adverse human reactions have ever been reported so far from the fungus itself or the spores it releases.
- Identifying the source of water and allowing the affected timbers/areas to dry out will kill the beast.
- Dry rot is extremely sensitive to its surrounding environment. All it requires is you to let your home fall into disrepair and then, maybe, it will take up residence.
Common sense should always prevail when tackling a water obsessed fungus like dry rot. Like us, water is essential to all parts of its life cycle. We cannot survive without it and nor can it.
This is why you remove the water source, remove the destruction caused by the dry rot and then dry it all out. Warm dry air will eradicate all the moisture and thus the dry rots ability to go on.
Last year, 400 million pounds was spent worldwide cleaning up after dry rot outbreaks. This is a crazy amount of money when you think about it. Dry rot treatments are over the top and usually detrimental to the homeowners interior finishes, finances and overall disruption to their lives.
What if i told you that you could just add warm air, replace the affected timber, and then set up a monitoring program where all that was needed was a simple ‘check up.’ Education is the biggest threat to the dry rots existence in your home, and the best dry rot treatment by far.
I can offer this lifeline to you if you have any trouble with the dry rot fungus. And, I’ll even go one step further and remove all the affected material and take it back to my lab and use it for my own crazy experiments.
Ditch the OTT approach and embrace the rational approach. Turn nature back on herself.
Get in touch with me today, it really isn’t as bad as you think.
I have always had a fascination with the natural world. You really need to when your life is all about mediating between Mother Nature and homeowners. And there is nothing more fascinating than forest dwelling insects coming into our home and...