How to deal with wet and dry rot in your home

 How to deal with wet and dry rot in your home

When we were kids, our mother would find the furriest boreen in whatever county we happened to be roaming around, and buy whatever hoary old building was at the end of it. She would fly into an instantaneous passionate panic — offering the full asking price if the seller would take it off the market. 

At least, that seemed to be her property buying mechanism.

Along with charming old houses came a host of hilarious adventures, including various forms of creeping dilapidation crouching behind bead-boards and porridgy plaster. The addition of Portland cement in the place of breathing lime plaster was really taking hold, and without any way for a building to breathe as it had in former centuries, damp was an absolute certainty after many well mean mid-century Irish “renovations”.

Wet rot and dry rot were a regular topic around our tea table. Mum (any worries shored up by climbing roses over her rose-tinted Aviators regarding Charm Lodge) would declare airily: “Sure wet rot is….much better than dry rot — and c’mon, those timbers are soaking!”

Dad would pop his head and shoulders into a musky attic occasionally: pause, stiffen, report nothing, and put the ladder away smartly.

All that we noticed in our infant innocence was that this or that ceiling was sagging, or a familiar hole in the floorboards was fringing prettily at the edges and inviting in mice.

We managed to grow a fungus at the base of an unused guest-room wall large enough to hold a little ornament.


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