All rots are Wet Rots, with the exception of the brown true Dry Rot (surpula lacrymans). All wood rotting fungi obtain their food by breaking down wood cells, causing loss of strength.
The fundamental principle for the control of all fungal decay such as Dry Rot and Wet Rot is the control of water; a fundamental consideration for timber preservation is that timbers should not be left in a position where they might become or remain damp.
Wood rotting fungi can be categorised in two groups: brown rot and white rot. Brown rots tend to darken the timber, causing cracking along and across the grain. White rots lighten the timber, but cause no cracking.
There is only one species of Dry Rot. It occurs when excess moisture penetrates the fabric of the building, raising the adjacent timber moisture content to above 20% of the oven-dry weight.
Dry Rot has the ability to travel through brick walls and concrete floors well away from the source of moisture in search of additional timber. Dry Rot can be serious and expensive, and immediate action should be taken to arrest the problem and minimise further damage.
All Wet Rot occurs when poor ventilation and high levels of moisture content (above 50%) have been allowed to penetrate the fabric of the building, enabling the Wet Rot fungi to cause the structural break down of timbers. Unlike dry rot, wet rot will remain near the source of moisture.
There are many species of Wet Rot, but it is not necessary to identify them as the treatments required are the same for all of them.
Epoxy resins have been used by the remedial industry for many years, as a barrier for waterproofing and also as an adhesive.
Epoxy resin repairs to structural beams are becoming increasingly common because of the advantage of salvaging irreplaceable timbers by rebuilding the decayed end with epoxy resin.
This minimises the disruption to the property and produces aesthetically pleasing results with no structural compromise. In many cases it makes financial sense to carry out structural resin repairs rather than complete replacement.