Dry Rot and Wet Rot FAQ

Dry rot and wet rot FAQ

At Property Conservation Services Ltd we provide dry rot and wet rot solutions for properties across Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas. 

Wet rot

What are the indications of wet rot?
Some wet rots are termed as 'brown rot': Here, you can see the shrinking and splitting of the timber causing cuboidal cracking. The wood is also darker after the metabolism of lignin.

Other types of wet rot are termed white rots which cause the timber to become fibrous and lighter in colour.

What causes wet rot?
In common with all fungi, wet rot requires moisture for germination to take place and to sustain life. So as with all wood rotting fungi the primary cause of wet rot is moisture. If wood is kept 'dry' - below 18% moisture content - it will not decay.

How do you treat wet rot?
The first step is to remove the source of moisture. All decayed timbers should be replaced with pretreated timber, or wherever possible, a material not susceptible to wet rot i.e. concrete (lintels etc).

Can rot return after treatment?
Both wet and dry rot can return after successful treatment. Contractors can sterilise, treat and replace affected areas to eradicate any decay present, however if the necessary conditions reoccur, the rot will start again. 

Spores are always present in the air and the only way to prevent wet rot and dry rot is to control the conditions.

Dry rot

What does dry rot look like?
The wood shrinks, darkens and cracks. A silky grey/lilac/yellow skin forms in less humid conditions whereas a white fluffy "cotton wool" mycelium develops in more humid conditions.

Any active decays creates a musty "damp" smell - this is sometimes what raises alarm within a property resulting in a survey.


Can dry rot spread across walls?
Yes it can. Dry rot spores can live for years without water which makes it the worst case of rot possible. Although water is essential in the initial phases of dry rot, thick walled hyphae develop called strands. These strands are resistant to desiccation and therefore spread over bricks & mortar, conducting nutrients from the source to the tips enabling them to spread further.

How do you treat dry rot?
As with all types of fungal decay, the source of moisture must be found and removed. Any affected timber must be replaced, including materials that are up to 1m from the last point where dry rot is visible.

Where masonry is affected, it is possible to sterilise these areas. This is achieved by drilling and injecting fungicide into the masonry.
As well as wet rot and dry rot solutions we can help you with a range of property conservation services including timber treatments, damp proofing and condensation control. 
Take a look at our previous projects
Contact the team at Property Conservation Services Ltd for wet rot and dry rot solutions. Based in Witney we provide services across Banbury, Oxford, Northampton and the surrounding areas.

Call us on 01295 788 106
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