What is Wet Rot?
Wet Rot refers to a number of different species of fungi, mostly commonly Coniophora puteana (brown rot), Phellinus Contiguus (white rot) and Poria vaillantii. Coniophora is found in many homes where damp timber has suffered some degree of decay. Though the specific type of fungi may vary, they are broadly similar in appearance and as the treatment is the same, there is no need to identify the particular species attacking your home.
The fungus can take root when microscopic spores, spread on air currents, come into contact with damp, untreated wood.
Wet Rot is less destructive than dry rot, as it tends be confined to the damp timber itself, and will not invade walls otherwise. The threads (mycelium) of the fungus burrow into the wood, and begin to break it up to digest it. As a result, Wet Rot can compromise the integrity of the structural beams of a home, and can thereby become very serious if not treated.
Is Wet Rot a health risk?
Other than the damage wet rot can cause to a house’s structure, wet rot is not commonly associated with major health concerns. The spores may cause or trigger asthma in children, or similar respiratory issues, however, so it is better to seek a solution as soon as is practicable.
How to treat Wet Rot?
As with dry rot, Wet Rot must be identified and treated by a professional. Preventative steps can be taken, such as ensuring timber is painted or treated appropriately, and well ventilated, but once the rot has set in, it is advisable to call in the professionals.
A surveyor or builder will seek to remedy the issue by solving the underlying damp problems. This can include better ventilation, identifying the source of any leaks, such as poor guttering.