Wet Rot treatment for homes in Halifax, West Yorkshire targets the frequently occurring wet rot fungi that causes the degrading of timber in damp conditions. Wet rot normally attacks an area of dampness because its mycelium cannot penetrate into the walls. As a result this makes the fungi less destructive compared to dry rot fungi.
Wet rot fungi infestation occurs as a result of unprotected timber coming into contact with moisture, or insufficient ventilation in houses, or possible leaks that occur in poorly drained, non-ventilated areas. Wet rot can affect unprotected timber and so wood should be well preserved and maintained to prevent this. To identify whether wood has been attacked by wet rot, suspected timber is inspected for any signs of cracking through paint.
How wet rot occurs in Halifax
Normally, wet rot is divided into two sub groups, brown wet rot and white. Brown wet rot is destructive to timber and causes cracking that appears cuboidal, while white rot attacks the wood and reduces it into a fibrous, stringy texture. Brown wet rots is the most commonly found wet rot in homes. The vegetative part of the fungus known as the mycelium exhibit dark brown/black growth on the wood.
Brown wet rot seriously affect wood by feeding on the cellulose structure. It grows on wood making it shrink and crack. As a result, the wood becomes brittle. The extent of cracking is lower with wet rot fungi as opposed to dry rot attacks. White wet rot appears as a light brown sheet like growth. With the vegetative part or mycelium generating bunches of light brown threads that can be observed sprouting from the rotting wood.
The spores of the wet rot fungi germinate in the timber and have a predominantly white appearance. The consumption of the cellulose material by the white wet rot fungi makes the wood brittle undermining its structural integrity. Soon, outbreaks of white wet rot fungi can completely destroy the wood work in a building.
Wet Rot identification and treatments
To eliminate white wet rot fungi, the first major step is to control the growing environment by removal of moisture that is supporting the growth of the fungi. Engineers and contractors must identify the source of the damp conditions and eliminate them.
These are normally as a result of damp areas. One way of dealing with the white wet rot is to use biological control. In this case antagonistic organisms are introduced to eliminate the conducive environment for the growth and propagation of the wet rot fungi. These antagonistic fungi reduce the ability of the decay fungus to colonize or degrade wood.
Introducing natural competitors into the environment of the wet rot fungi certainly offers a unique solution that can quickly eradicate the organism. However, some problems remain such as the possibility that the organisms can become dangerous or allergenic. Wet rot can also be treated with heat.
Given the nature of the fungi and the fact that it does not invade the inner depths of the wood work, wet rot fungi can also be easily eliminated through heat treatment. The wet rot is sensitive to heat and is usually eliminated using various heat treatments. One example uses a blowlamp. In another approach, a blast of hot air is blown in the affected building.
Another popular method of treating wet rot fungi is to environmental treatment. This method involves changing the environment in which the wet rot fungus exists. The main way to do this is to increase the ventilation in the affected areas through forced ventilation from fans or through opening windows and doors to ensure the flow of air.
Once the place starts drying, the next thing is to identify the places in the building that require replacement and strengthening as a result of the attack from the fungi. To understand what approach to take, the help of a structural engineer can be sought.
As the drying continues, any wood that is taking longer to dry should be isolated and removed. When using the environmental approach, it is important to continue monitoring the building even if future to ensure that wet rot fungi does not attack again.
Timber replacement due to wet rot
Wet rot fungi can be eliminated using chemical fungicides, a process known as the orthodox treatment.
This treatment starts by cutting out all decaying wood work that shows the infestation of mycelium. This should not just be applied to visibly affected timber but should be extended to wood that is at least 1m away should be removed and burnt. Additionally, plaster and panelling, lining and ceilings that show the slightest traces of wet rot growth should also be removed or stripped off and burnt. Using a wire brush, all surfaces adjacent to the infested area are scrubbed including areas within a radius of 1.5 meters from the affected parts. Next fungicide is applied either as a water soluble coating or as paint.