The most serious type of decay is dry rot, which refers to wood decay caused by the fungus Serpula Lacrymans. The fungus forms on timber with a moisture content of above 30%, which allows the fungus to grow at an accelerated rate; causing severe damage to a building’s structural timbers.
Successful control and eradication of dry rot requires carefully planned measures. It is extremely important that an outbreak is correctly identified; dry rot can be particularly difficult to detect in its early stages as it usually develops beneath floorboards, behind panelling or plaster.
There are a number of features to look for when identifying the possible presence of dry rot, such as softening of the wood and, in certain areas, dry rot causes shrinkage and distortion.
Timber that has been severely affected by dry rot will be much lighter in weight and usually disintegrates in the palm of your hand; the timber no longer has a fresh resinous smell but a more distinctive mushroom odour.