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Dry Rot – (Serpula Lacrymans)

Three factors are required for dry rot –

  • Supply of food i.e. timber
  • Lack of Ventilation
  • Moisture
  • The prevalence of spore dust in the air is such that spores will land and germinate on such timber.

The presence of these three ‘ingredients’ can give rise to dry rot in timbers. Once the outbreak occurs the fungus can spread quickly to dry areas. Mycelium are the tiny cotton wool type fungal growth which can grow behind minute gaps behind plaster through mortar joints and between masonry gaps.

Once the mycelium has established itself strands grow from this in search of fresh timber eventually unchecked growth can affect all the timber in a property and in terraces or flats can spread from one property to another.


Treatment is therefore extensive when the structural strength of timber has been affected. Plaster needs to be removed and exposed masonry treated. Structural works may be required where timber lintels need to be replaced.

It is very important to identify the source of moisture and lack of ventilation and rectify this as part of the recommended work.

Failure to do so will render the remedial works potentially ineffective.