damaged supporting timber caused by wet rot

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What is wet rot

A common question our surveyors are asked is “What is Wet Rot?” - It is a property problem that most people have heard of but cannot explain exactly what it is.

Wet rot is a fungus that attacks timber in properties and can lead to severe cases of timber decay. In the right conditions, such as a lack of ventilation or a serious problem with water ingress, wet rot can germinate and attack timber to such a degree that it can affect the structural integrity of a property.

The most common species of wet rot is Cellar Fungus (Coniophora Puteana), but there are a variety of different species, and this can create difficulty when identifying a wet rot problem.

When it comes to wet rot treatment, it is also necessary to tell the difference between dry rot and wet rot, because despite the fact both are fungal conditions they are treated in very different ways.

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What is wet rot and why does it occur?

Wet rot often occurs as a result of faults within a property that create a significant amount of water to come into contact with timber. This is usually caused by defects in plumbing, external guttering or pipework that create leaks. A great way to prevent wet rot is conducting routine checks of your property’s water management systems and pipes. This property maintenance will ensure wet rot doesn’t have the opportunity to manifest.

Wet rot requires a significant amount of moisture for spores to germinate and cultivate. For wet rot to grow, a constant source of moisture is needed as wet rot thrives on moisture.  Once the moisture has been removed, wet rot growth will cease and it will not be able to spread. Wet rot cannot travel through masonry, and this can sometimes cause wet rot to go undetected for an extended period of time if it blocked into in a non-visible area.

What are the signs of wet rot

The most common signs of wet rot include:

  • Small ‘cuboidal’ cracking in timber - approximately 25mm
  • Localised timber decay especially in skirting boards, floor joists and floorboards
  • Darkening of timber
  • A damp musty smell
  • Fungal growth

To find out more visit our page on what does wet rot look like.

What treatment is best for wet rot?

Since 1951, Peter Cox have been identifying and treating against the damaging effects of wet rot in residential and commercial properties across the UK. Our team of local Peter Cox surveyors and technicians come with years of industry expertise and local knowledge that allow them to eradicate wet rot problems in any property anywhere.

At Peter Cox, our professional and highly experienced property surveyors will inspect your property and identify any wet rot infestation they find and  recommend a bespoke wet rot treatment plan.

For more information on how we treat against wet rot, see our dedicated service pages.

Contact the wet rot experts

If you suspect you have an issue with wet rot in your property, then do not hesitate to contact us. For expert advice or to arrange a professional survey with one of our surveyors, contact your local Peter Cox branch on 0800 633 5712 to speak to one of our experts.

Alternatively, the button below will take you to our online enquiry form, and someone will call you back.

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Next Steps

*Survey enquiries for your local branch will be directed to our dedicated central survey control teams across the UK. Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are free unless you are calling from a business phone, in which case the rate will be set by your provider.