The Effect of Environmental Factors on Wood Decay
The wood samples that were immersed in soil will start to decay and become weaker at a faster rate.
The decay in wood is caused mainly by water and fungi. Among the causes of decay in wood used in the construction of houses include the condensation of water vapor on wooden window frames, the leaking of rainwater through the roof and walls, dripping water from poor plumbing, and water that gathers around toilet bowls, all of which are absorbed by the wooden structure of the house.
In the presence of water or water vapor, the wood will expand and shrink, causing dimensional changes, and this accelerates the degradation of the wood and its finish. Basically wood will swell when it is exposed to water, and will shrink back when it dries. Over-exposure to water at 100% humidity, or being immersed in water will cause the wood to expand beyond the saturation point of its fibers. This will reduce the wood’s strength and accelerate its decay.
The fungi that is responsible for wood decay will need the correct temperature, along with sufficient moisture, oxygen and nutrients from the wood in order to survive. The fungi will cause decay through the secretion of enzymes. These enzymes help to break down the cellulose in the wood into sugar, which the fungi use as food. However water is required to transport the sugar to the fungi. Therefore without water, the wood cannot decay.
Basic safety requirements