Dry Rot Treatment at Old School Room in Haworth (Bronte Parsonage Museum)

Background To Case Study

Our team of specialists in Bradford were asked to survey a rather historical property that appeared to be suffering from a case of dry rot.  Situated between Haworth Parish Church and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, the Old School Room is one of the most integral and historical buildings in the area. Built in 1832 by Patrick Brontë, the father of the Brontë sisters, the school taught all his famous children making it a fundamental part of the Brontë landscape.

Did You Know?

Emily Brontë told her pupils she preferred the school dog to them. Turns out Emily Brontë was a big animal lover and shared little empathy when it came between her pupils and her beloved pets.

Our Findings

During our external inspection, it was apparent that the gutters were in a state of disrepair to the rear, resulting in the build-up of vegetation and mould growth. This would need to be inspected and repaired as a priority to prevent further water ingress.

Within the property, our surveyor found large sporophores (fruiting bodies) of the true dry rot fungus (serpula lacrymans), along with heavy mycelium growth to roof timbers, walls, and wooden window frames of the Women’s WC.

Dry rot spores are considered omnipresent and no environment is considered free from them, this means the spores are all around us. Spores will germinate and grow in timber with a moisture content between 20% and 30%. Due to a severe lack of ventilation in the women’s WC,  moisture laden air remained stagnant, causing dry rot spores to germinate, attacking its nearest food source, in this case the window frames.

What a treat for our surveyors to inspect such a historic building with such rich culture, this is certainly one that we won’t be forgetting anytime soon! ”

Martin Wilkinson, Dry Rot Specialist

Our Recommendations

We recommended that the dry rot treatments within the ladies WC should extend from floor to ceiling level. This would involve the removal of plasterwork to gain access to the infected timbers. With the timbers exposed masonry biocide sterilisation and irrigation treatments would be used to treat the dry rot affected area. In addition to the dry rot treatment, a dual purpose insecticide-fungicide spray treatment on any retained timbers within this vicinity would give peace of mind that there would be no return visit from the dry rot.

Need help with dry rot treatment?

If you suspect you have a dry rot problem in need of treatment, please contact your local Timberwise team on 0800 288 8660 for advice or to arrange a survey. Alternatively, complete the  on-line survey request form to arrange a surveyor to visit your property. For further information on structural repairs visit our dry rot page.

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