"In the United Kingdom alone, the estimated cost of rectifying damage caused by dry rot is at least 150 million pounds per annum."
Serpula lacrymans, also spelt S. lacrimans, Merulius lacryymans, or M. lacrimans, is a "dry rot fungus" that is "one of the most destructive fungi causing timber decay in buildings".
In taxonomical science the first mention of Merulius lacrymans was in 1720 by Boerhaave. The first rigorous description of Serpula lacrymans in its fruit bodies was done by Accum in 1827. The growth cycle of Serpula lacrymans is extremely complex and can only be seen under a microscope.
Serpula lacrymans has a preference for temperatures of 21 to 22 degrees Celsius but can survive any temperature from 3 to 26 degrees Celsius. It is not clear how much light is needed to promote Serpula lacrymans growth. In terms of aeration Serpula lacrymans often grows near ventilation shafts which shows a preference for concentrated oxygen. A moisture content of 30 to 40 percent is its ideal level in wood to promote fruit-body formation.
Science: A LOAD OF OLD ROT the Two Words Every Homeowner Most Fears, Dry Rot Strikes Terrorwherever It's Found. but, as Norman Miller Reports, Scientists Are Finding That Gutting Your House Is Not the Best Solution
Jul 26, 1998; OK, HERE'S the pitch. Big-time nasty organism escapes from its Himalayan lair to rampage through homes around the world, striking...