wood rot repair – dry rot treatment

How to wood rot repair? Keeping rot at bay is better than treating it once it already has a hold. Rot is caused by damp. Dry rot cannot form in timber containing less than 25 per cent moisture, and wet rot requires moisture content in the timber of between 50 and 60 per cent. To have dry rot treatment, therefore, make sure your house is dry. If you suspect damp to be present anywhere, treat it as described earlier. Keep the gutters and down pipes in good order, so that the walls of the house do not become saturated. Moreover, the fungi do not spread so easily when there is good ventilation. Check that air bricks and grilles are not blocked and keep the paintwork, especially that on outdoor timber, in good condition so that rainwater cannot penetrate it. Begin wood rot repair, getting rid of rot. Wet rot is the easiest to deal with. As soon as you remove the damp, it will die out. You are, however, left with the job of replacing all the damaged timber. If these are important structural members, then seek professional advice. Non-structural timbers, such as skirting, window frames, picture rails, door frames and floorboards can be replaced. Prod the surface of the timber with a sharp instrument to determine the extent of the rot. Cut out and bum all affected wood, and remove all dust, dirt and debris. Make sure the new timber you use is sound, thoroughly dry and well seasoned. Also treat it, and the nearby timber, brick and concrete areas with dry rot fluid, to prevent that developing.

 

dry rotDry rot is much more difficult to eradicate, and dealing with extensive attacks is beyond the scope of the average do-it-yourseIfer. A thorough knowledge of building techniques is required, as well as a full acquaintance with the behavior and symptoms of the fungus. Moreover, the disturbance caused can be tremendous and the house may be uninhabitable during the work. You can, perhaps, cope with small outbreaks yourseIf. As with wet rot, it is essential to remove the conditions that cause the fungus to develop in the first place; make sure the house is dry and well ventilated. To tackle the infestation, inspect your home minutely for evidence of the rot after wood rot repair. Wherever you see any sign of attack, consider that point as being the centre of a sphere with a radius of 900 mm (3 ft) and make a close examination in every direction within that area. If you find any sign of decay, carry on with the sphere principle, until eventually you get to the limits of the attack. Cut away affected timber to a point 900 mm (3 ft) beyond the visible limits of an attack. If this involves the structural timbers, seek expert advice. The timber you cut out should be taken out of the house and burned. If strands have penetrated plaster, it must all be hacked off, taken outside in plastic bags and sprayed with dry rot fluid, before being taken away. Clean the whole area of the wall behind the plaster with a wire brush to make sure no strands are left.

 

wood rot

wood rot

The debris from cleaning must also be taken outside in plastic bags and sprayed before disposal. Where masonry has been affected, drill holes into the wall and fill them with dry rot fluid. The holes should be 13mm in diameter, 150 mm deep, and at an angle of 45°. They should cover the contaminated area at 600 mm (2 ft) staggered intervals. Working from the top downwards, spray all brick, block concrete and earth surfaces until they are saturated, using a spray with a coarse nozzle. The precautions about clothing and a mask suggested in the section on woodworm should be observed. If the strands have gone through the brickwork, deal with both sides similarly. Two coats of dry rot fluid must be applied to timber around the decayed timbers that ‘have been cut away. The treatment should extend to a distance of 1500 mm (5 ft) from the last affected spot. Treat the new timber with a fungicidal wood preservative. Brush on liberal applications, and stand sawn ends in a pot of the liquid for a good five minutes. Allow the wall to dry out properly before re-plastering and decorating. As an extra precaution, you may apply zinc oxycholoride plaster before the wall plaster.

 

The whole essence of the treatment of dry rot is thoroughness.  Leave any of the strands behind, and it can go on spreading. So you must carry on looking for further signs of the attack, and be sure that you have removed every trace. It would be a pity to go to all that trouble, then find in a short while you are having to carry out the remedial dry rot treatment all over again. lt is because of this – in addition to the scale of the work involved – that perhaps the work should be left to the experts, even though the cost of doing so can be high.

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