|Conceptual Reference Database for Building Envelope Research||
Three principal types of fungi inhabit wood: mold, sapstain and wood-decay fungi. It is really a vicious circle. Moisture promotes fungi, fungi increase wood permeability, permeability allows moisture to penetrate the wood further and encourages of more decay fungiĄ
Dry Rot / Serpula lacrymans
If you expose a piece of wood to water it will rot. That is commonly known. In the extreme, unusable "mush" remains. The wood fiber essentially dissolves. While this is commonly referred to as rot, it is more accurately called WET rot.
A more insidious rot is DRY ROT. While moisture is important to dry rot, only minimal amounts are needed. Often, in fact, high humidity is enough.
Dry and wet rot in wood are caused by the growth of fungus in the wood. A fungus is a primitive plant that has no leaves, does not produce chlorophyll, and gets nutrients from sources of organic matter. Wood-destroying fungi, like other living organisms, require a food source, oxygen, and favorable temperature in order to survive. Different species of fungi have various requirements and the conditions for germination and reproduction are not necessarily the same as those for optimum growth.