Dry rot found in a basement in Altrincham

Client: Domestic

Products Used: Lignum, Lignum Insecticide Fungicide, Brunocii Biocide


Within easy walking distance of the thriving town of Altrincham, Bowdon is on the doorstep of the grand Dunham Massey estate, previously owned by the seventh Earl of Stamford and Warrington. Established in the 1840s, it has a rich history of development, including a host of heritage and listed buildings, creating an unrivalled setting for this period family home complimented by views over John Leigh Park. Timberwise were asked to inspect and report on a possible fungal decay outbreak within the basement of the property. The customer had described there been an extensive “mould growth” within their basement.

The cellar has two chambers, accessed via a flagstone staircase. The first chamber was being used as a utility room and the rear chamber was used for storage. The cellars have full and current planning permission and the homeowners were looking to convert the space into a games room and adjoining wine cellar.

Did you know?

Built-in 1900, Altrincham Town Hall was designed by the Manchester architect C.H. Hindle.

An external inspection of this distinctive Victorian home was completed from the ground and showed no apparent defects to the wall render or rainwater goods. At the time of the inspection, there was no visible waterproofing system in place within the basement and inspection of the rear chamber of the basement had revealed an extensive outbreak of dry rot, so much, so the dry rot had also spread over wooden wine creates as well as the wine racks.

Dry rot is a term used to describe a particular type of wood rot (serpula lacrymans). For a dry rot attack to occur there needs to be a spore (or some growth that is viable already present), oxygen, a suitable temperature, a food source and water, all of which are found in buildings – and especially in damp basements.

In the other chamber, our surveyor also found a sizeable dry rot sporophore, a “pancake-like” form. This was particularly concerning as if the sporophore was to shed its orange coloured spores into the atmosphere, the spores can land, germinate and thus extend the growth period of the dry rot. Further investigation showed that the cause of the attack was due to inadequate ventilation to the subfloor area alongside water ingress from the earth retaining wall.


It was vital that all fruiting bodies and large fungal growths created by the dry rot outbreak were removed. It was essential this was carried out with precision to stop them ‘exploding’ and giving off millions of tiny brown spores looking to germinate on previously unaffected timbers. Our solution was localised irrigation by the formation of a ‘toxic box’ that would surround the outbreak.

Holes were created at 450mm staggered centres in the walls in excess of 150mm thickness, fungicidal treatment was then applied to each hole together with a surface application to the perimeter of the walls. We also recommended that extra ventilation was introduced to the property via the provision of the installation of a humidity controlled fan and as well as the installation of a positive pressure unit to the property


To ensure the property would not be subject to another dry rot attack, our technicians applied a second application of irrigation treatments for good measure. As with all our projects, the property was cleared of all debris and left in a clean and tidy state, ready for the basement to take shape and become the wine cellar they were dreaming off.

Get In Touch With a Dry Rot Specialist in Altrincham

It is vital to correctly identify the damp problem you have so that the correct damp proofing solution can be put in place for your property. To correctly determine the form of dry rot treatment required, we recommend a Damp and Timber report from your local damp specialists.

Timberwise has over 5 decades of experience in identifying and providing solutions to damp using techniques such as a damp proof course. For peace of mind that your problem is rectified, call our experts today on 0800 288 8660 or click below to arrange a damp survey online.