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What is Wet Rot?

Wet rot is a debilitating fungal infection of timber, which can affect the strength of structural timber and severely damage a building. Wet rot occurs when there are high levels of moisture, damp or condensation in a building.

There are number of different types of wet rot fungi.

What is wet rot?Cellar fungus (Coniophora puteana)
This type of wet rot fungi is usually found in damp basements, under floors and in skirting boards. It causes timber to darken and produce cracking both along and across the grain of the wood. It prefers very damp conditions in areas like basements, leaking roofs and wood floors where there is insufficient ventilation, or measures such as damp proofing have not yet been taken to prevent a wet rot outbreak.

Mine fungus (Poria vaillantii)
This wet rot fungi causes wood to shrink and split into cuboidal sectors. Its strands are white and sometimes fern-like.

Phellinus contiguus
This type of wet rot, white in colour, bleaches wood, which becomes fibrous and stringy. This is a common type of wood rot decay in external joinery timbers such as door and window frames.

Where is wet rot found?

  • Cellars or basements
  • Timber floors with insufficient ventilation or floor joists connected to masonry which has rising damp or moisture ingress through poor guttering etc.
  • Roof timbers where roofing is leaking, or window frames if water is allowed to collect
  • Areas where water and moisture are allowed to collect, such as under or near the washing machine, dishwasher, kitchen sink, bath or shower.

What Does Wet Rot Look Like?

wet rot spreading on wallWet rot causes timber to darken or lighten in tone and become spongy. If the timber has dried out, it will crumble to the touch.

If you suspect a wet rot infestation in your home, check for damp or water ingress in places where you think this most likely to occur, such as roofing, gutters, windows, floors, and cellars or basements. Check the walls for signs of rising damp – there may be a discoloured or white ‘tide mark’ at the level the damp has risen to.

If you do find signs of wet rot, contact Peter Cox immediately – a Peter Cox wet rot surveyor will be able to properly inspect your property and advise on what steps to take. If left untreated, wet rot can cause significant damage to a property and it is imperative that your wet rot problem is dealt with swiftly.

What is the Difference Between Wet Rot and Dry Rot?

Wet rot remains localised to the source of damp, but can still cause major structural damage. Dry rot is the more serious of the two, as it can spread far from the source of moisture and cause damage to structural timber throughout the house. Wet rot cannot develop into dry rot, but dry rot can develop on timber previously affected by wet rot. Whether your property has fallen victim to a wet rot or dry rot attack, Peter Cox can help.

Wet rot treatment

For wet rot and dry rot treatment, damp proofing, basement waterproofing, woodworm treatment, mould prevention and more, look no further than Peter Cox. We are the UK’s market leaders in preventing damp problems such as wet rot, and the work of our experienced timber technicians carries a twenty-year guarantee.

To find out more about our wet rot and dry rot treatment methods, visit our dry rot and wet rot control page or our timber repairs FAQs.

To book a Peter Cox wet rot survey, fill in the form on the right of the page or fill in the homeowners survey, or call Peter Cox on 0800 030 4701.