Wet Rot

Outbreaks of wet rot, known generally as cellar fungus, or coniophora cerebella, are almost twice as frequent as those of dry rot, but are seldom as difficult to treat. Wet rot requires moister conditions than does dry rot, and the optimum water content for growth is between 50 and 60 per cent-hence its name. It is, therefore, sensitive to drying and all activity ceases when the source of moisture is removed.

The special characteristics by which cellar fungus, and the decay caused by it, can be identified are: The fungal strands are never so thick as those of dry rot, seldom exceeding the diameter of thin string or twine. These strands are brownish or black, but when freshly produced, are yellowish-brown. The fungal strands, when growing on the surface of the wood or over damp plaster, often develop a dark fern-like shape. They are vein-like in appearance and are said to be similar to the blood-vessels of the cerebellum (part of the brain); hence the specific name. They do not penetrate into brickwork.

White mycelium is never produced by this species, either in the cottonwool or in the sheet form. The sporophore is rarely found in buildings, although it may be common out of doors. It consists of a thin plate, olive-brown in colour, of indefinite shape, covered with small tubercules.

The spores are rarely found indoors in any accumulation, but are so light that they are present almost everywhere in the air, consequently any timber in buildings with a sufficiently high moisture content is likely to be attacked by this species.

Other species of fungus also causing wet rot in buildings are the white pore fungus or mine fungus, poria voillantii, and paxillus panuoides, both of which attack only softwood.

10. November 2011 by admin
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