Damp Proofing

Rising damp

Rising Damp is the vertical flow of groundwater through a permeable wall. The water risies through a series of interconnecting pores by a process loosely called ‘capillarity’ in other words porous masobry acts like wick.

Causes of rising damp is due to some of these factors; Slate DPC prone to damp from vibration and can deteriorate with age, becoming friable/brittle especially during the winter months. Lack of DPC at construction phae. Bridging of the DPC via blocked cavities, high ground levels and wall plaster

Penetrating damp

Damp caused by rainwater ingress, due to defective external rendering, perished pointing, defective rainwater goods, defective roof coverings/flashings, Abutting solid structures, (yard walls etc) and broken or worn out window seals.

Woodworm treatment

Wood boring insects can attack wood within the structure of a building and even the wood within your home furnishings. If left untreated, wood boring insects can seriously weaken timber leading to the eventual failure of the structure of a building. Of course, the early treatment of small infestation to contain and irradiate it, is always the best approach so be sure to take every oppotunity to inspect the timbers in your home and contact us, if discover anything suspicious.

If you discover signs of wood boring insects don’t panic, this does not always result in sever timber damage and the hole may even been of historical nature, and been active for over hundreds of years.

Wet rot / Dry rot

Wet rot and Dry rot are two different types of fungi. One of the main differences between wet rot and dry rot is that wet rot needs a higher moisture content to grow. Wet rot fungus likes to grow on timber with a high moisture content of around 50% and above while for dry rot to grow it will germinate at a lower timber moisture content of around 20% to 30%.

There are many different types of Wet rot however there is only one Dry rot fungi. Telling the difference between dry rot and wet rot is the first step to successful eradication of the rot outbreak.

Dry rot in your property is serious and it should always be resolved as soon as possible. It is an aggressive destructive form of decay in a building as it spreads away from the source of damp and destroys timber and other property fabric.

As for wet rot fungus, this type of rot occurs more frequently but is more localised. The decay usually affects timber at the source of the damp. However, do not underestimate wet rot. If left untreated wet rot can cause major structural problems.

Dry Rot is only caused by the fungi Serpula Lacrymans and it is the most serious form of fungal decay in buildings. It can spread through a complete building and destroy the fabric of the property. As we have mentioned dry rot can affect any unprotected timber which becomes damp with a moisture content of above 20% which can be achieved quite easily in a property.

Wet rot and Dry Rot may appear as a result of defective internal plumbing or penetrating damp caused by defective render, guttering and downpipes. Both Wet and Dry rot can cause significant damage before a homeowner is aware that there is even a problem as it can germinate behind wall fabrics and below floors.

Identifying Dry Rot

  • Fungus affected timber shrinks and causes cracking generally along the grain of the timber
  • The rot affected timber may leave a surface veneer intact hiding the rot
  • Timber can feel soft and spongy to the touch
  • The mycelium can have a lemon-yellowish tinge
  • The mycelium turns to grey when older
  • Damp musty smell
  • Fruiting bodies grow when the rot is well established (mushroom like appearance)
  • Red spore dust from the fruiting body is evident in rooms.
  • Paint finish can appear damaged, highlighting the cracked timber below
  • Dry rot mycelium will grow along and through walls to find more timber to colonise and can spread right through a property

Identifying WET Rot

  • Fungus affected timber shrinks and causes cracking to the timber
  • Timber is likely to feel soft and spongy to the touch
  • Discolouration of timber is often present
  • In some cases, mycelium strands may appear on the timber
  • Wet rot stays to the damp area and does not spread
  • Paint finish can appear damaged, highlighting the cracked timber below
  • Damp musty smell

Wet rot is a fungal infestation which thrives in damp conditions. Any unprotected timber in your property from your roof to the ground floor which becomes damp is at risk of fungal attack. There are many types of wet rot fungi and the infestation should be treated as soon as possible as it can structurally deteriorate timbers in your property or home.

Wet rot can often lead to major structural damage if it is left to grow unchecked. Fortunately, wet rot does not spread through masonry and the growth of wet rot will cease when the moisture is removed.

Any damp source can lead to a wet rot attack including damp from rising damp, leaking roofs, gutters and problems with defective masonry pointing or render can all create the right damp conditions in your property to germinate the wet rot fungi. Wet rot will stay in the vicinity of the damp source.

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