signs of wet rot

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What does wet rot look like

Wet rot is a severe form of timber decay that can attack all kinds of timber within a property regardless of the property’s age or condition. Wet rot can severely impact the structural integrity of your property if ignored and left untreated, meaning that identifying what wet rot looks like is crucial.

If you have ever wondered “what does wet rot look like?” this page will help you spot any signs of wet rot in your property and recommend the next steps to take.

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Identify wet rot

Wet rot can often be challenging to identify for a few reasons. Without a qualified expert it can be difficult to tell the difference between wet rot and dry rot because both are fungal problems that attack timber.

Another challenge in identifying wet rot is that it often develops in hard-to-spot areas of a property as a result of unseen water ingress. As a result, wet rot can be commonly found in damp basements, under floorboards, behind skirting boards and underneath leaking fixtures and fittings such as baths, toilets and washing machines.

Signs of wet rot - pictures

There are many tell tale signs of wet rot that will confirm if you have a problem.

Wet rot

Wet rot fungus

Wet rot fungus grows in stages. Early in its life cycle it will develop in strands that look a bit like spider silk forming into fern-shaped patterns. Depending on the specific genus of wet rot growing the colour will vary from brown to white.

These strands will later develop a white skin or coating and eventually a series of small fruiting bodies that look like tiny “off-white” mushrooms.

Timber darkens or lightens in colour

Wet rot can cause timber to change colour, darker or lighter depending on environmental factors, and this will coincide with a breaking down of the timber which makes it soft and spongy to touch.

Localised decay

Due to the high level of moisture, timber can begin to break down and create localised decay. Timber features such as skirting boards, window sills and floorboards often show physical signs of decay caused by wet rot such as paint work on timber becoming damaged and flaky.

To assess if wet rot has affected the timber, take a flat edged knife and insert it into the affected timber. If the knife can go in up to the handle, it is highly likely there is an issue with rot in the timber.

Peter Cox - wet rot help and advice

If you spot any of the signs of wet rot listed above, it likely means you have an outbreak of wet rot in your property. For expert advice or to arrange a professional survey with one of our qualified and experienced surveyors contact your local Peter Cox branch on 0800 633 5712.

Alternatively, fill in our online contact form below and someone will call you back.

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