The most common type of wet rot is caused principally by Coniophora puteana. Poria vaillantii is another important wet rot fungus and a number of less common fungi also occur. Coniphoria can be found in some form in most properties. Within timber the higher the moisture content the higher the chance of wet rot decay. While each fungus has its own unique features, the general appearance of wet rot is similar – as is the treatment. Wet rot is typically confined to the area of dampness because the mycelium does not spread into walls.
When timber remains wet for some time, decay can occur as a result of attack by one of a number of wood-destroying fungi. The most well-known are Dry Rot (serpula lacrymans),
Cellar Fungus (coniophora puteana) and Mine Fungus (Poria vaillantii) The fungi will only attack wet timber, so finding and eradicating the source of dampness is essential.
The decay process starts in similar ways:
When the fruiting bodies mature they produce millions of spores which are dispersed by air currents. If they fall on untreated, damp timber they will develop and eventually mycelium will form. The mycelium will feed on the inside of the wood, weakening the timber. This can obviously be dangerous in some instances.
Wet Rot is much more common, but far less serious. Usually decay is limited to the area where the timber has become wet and cannot dry out. It does not spread as the mycelium does not travel into walls.
It is vital that the types and causes of fungal decay are correctly identified. Although they can appear very similar, the damage they cause is very different. Identification and treatment must be carried out by a specialist such as Timber Preserve, who will need to carry out an initial survey of the property.
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