Dry rot mould attacking timber beam

What Causes Dry Rot?

Once a dry rot outbreak has started eating away at wood, it can be very difficult to stop it from spreading. It takes expert knowledge and appropriate specialist remediation to make sure dry rot is completely removed.

In order to resolve a dry rot problem, we initially need to identify the causes of dry rot so we can determine the most appropriate treatments and advise on how to prevent future dry rot outbreaks. For dry rot to be present in a building moisture and a food source (wood) need to be present.

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Why Dry Rot Occurs

Dry rot occurs when there is moisture ingress or dampness present in a property, this moisture can be present as a result of the following forms of dampness:

Penetrating damp

Caused by external defects such as defective rainwater goods or a leaking roof.

Rising damp

Caused by a possible ineffective damp proof course – for example where the damp proof course has been bridged.


Lack of sufficient ventilation in a property can lead to damp, moist air been trapped in the property leading to condensation problems.

Dry rot can affect all types of properties regardless of their age as long as there are certain environmental elements allowing it to survive and spread. These elements are a source of food (wood), oxygen, moisture and temperature. In optimal environmental conditions, dry rot can grow up to one meter per month!

Dry rot gets its name due to the dry and brittle state it leaves timber after exhausting away the woods nutrients. So for spores to germinate, moisture must be present within the wood above the fibre saturation point. Wood must have a high moisture content in order for infection to commence, therefore in order to successfully eradicate dry rot, you must initially eliminate the source of moisture.

If you have spotted signs of a dry rot outbreak in your property, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Timberwise by requesting a dry rot survey.