Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Dangers of Dry Rot

Every year, homeowners across the UK spend large amounts of money on extensive renovations to repair damage caused by dry rot. Dry rot is caused by the presence of damp, moisture and condensation in the home, and can cause serious damage to your property affecting walls, floors, and structural timber. Unlike wet rot, dry rot can spread far beyond the point where moisture and damp have entered the home, meaning a dry rot infection must be detected and eliminated as quickly as possible, lest further damage to the home occur.

In order to prevent dry rot, one must ensure their home is protected against the entry of damp, condensation and moisture. For a long-term solution, seek assistance from an experienced dry rot treatment company such as Peter Cox. A reputable contractor with over five decades of experience in providing a range of property services such as wet rot and dry rot treatment, damp proofing, basement waterproofing and woodworm treatment, their dry rot treatments can repair damage to structural timber caused by dry rot and, through the use of such products as their DryWall +  damp proof course, can prevent the dry rot from ever returning.

What Causes Dry Rot?
Dry rot occurs when timber is exposed to moisture or comes into contact with damp masonry. The growth and spread of the dry rot fungus depends on certain environmental conditions - damp, stagnant conditions combined with lack of proper ventilation provide the ideal environment for the development of dry rot. Such damp conditions may occur for a number of reasons, such as internal plumbing leaks, condensation  or rain water penetration from outside the house.

Usually, the first signs of an outbreak may be the sudden appearance of a mushroom-like fruiting body or fine grey-white hyphae strands. The affected timber will become dry and brittle, and will crumble to the touch.

What are the Dangers of Dry Rot?
Dry rot can grow through damp masonry, brickwork and behind plaster, causing widespread structural damage. Dry rot’s ability to spread so rapidly can make treatment more complicated than with other types of rot - but if left untreated, the fungus can spread through an entire property, causing severe damage to structural timber and masonry which could lead to collapse.

The presence of dry rot itself doesn’t affect human health. However, its presence in a home may indicate high levels of dampness and condensation, which can cause respiratory problems and lead to other problems which can affect the health of you and your property, such as woodworm, wet rot, and mould growth. If you suspect a dry rot outbreak in the home, it is important to arrange a dry rot survey from an experienced property maintenance company such as Peter Cox.

Prevention and Treatment

Detect the Source of Damp: As dry rot is caused by damp and moisture entering the home, it is important to thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of your home to find any source of damp. With professional assistance from Peter Cox’s dry rot specialists, you will be easily able to identify such sources like leaking gutters, rising damp, water leaks and poor ventilation that can also contribute to the problem.

Damp Proofing Treatment: You can also make your home more resistant to damp penetration with the help of Peter Cox’s damp proofing specialists. Peter Cox’s DryWall Thermotek masonry protection cream is applied to walls affected by damp as part of the damp proofing process and will help to prevent damp entering the home, thus not only helping prevent dry rot problems, but also helping to retain heat and thus conserving energy levels. Because of its eco-friendly, energy-saving properties (a single-coat application can yield an energy saving of 29%), the DryWallThermotek solution qualifies for a 5% VAT rate.

Dry Rot Elimination: Remove all infected timber and replace with pre-treated timber. Any remaining timbers at risk of being affected by the dry rot should be treated with an effective fungicide. Where the dry rot has passed through the masonry, it should be treated with a water-based biocide.

Dry rot is one of the most damaging conditions a property can suffer. If not controlled immediately, the condition can cause enormous damage in a short period of time. It is absolutely essential to take proper preventive and remedial steps with the help of dry rot experts such as Peter Cox in time to control the growth of the fungal decay.

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