Close up of wet rot damage to timber beams

Wet Rot

Timberwise has many years of experience as wet rot specialists in the property care industry.

We can help identify wet rot, find the root cause of wet rot, and treat wet rot so that it no longer presents an issue in your property.

Read more below about wet rot, and how we can help you eliminate it from your property.

Treating Wet Rot

Quick Navigation:

What Is Wet Rot?
What Causes Wet Rot?
How To Identify Wet Rot?
Does Wet Rot Spread?
Can I Treat Wet Rot Myself?
How To Treat Wet Rot
What Is The Cost Of Wet Rot Treatment?
Get In Touch Our Wet Rot Specialist

What is Wet Rot?

Simply put, wet rot is the natural decay of timber due to the presence of high moisture.

Wet rot is a general term, commonly used to describe the different species of fungus that are responsible for the condition we know as wet rot.

All of the different fungi that make up a wet rot infestation feed the same way: by breaking down the cells within the timber and feeding on the nutrients within. Over time, the feeding habits of the fungi causes a loss of strength in a properties wood, leading to the degradation and breakdown of a properties timber.

Wet rot fungus thrives within timber that is exposed to excess moisture. This is because any wood that is subjected to high levels of moisture provides an ideal breeding ground for the spores that the wet rot fungi releases.

The reason that you might have a large amount of moisture in your home differs from case to case, and the number of causes could be endless. Leaky pipes, a loose seal on a washing machine, a leak within a roof – all are valid causes of moisture ingress, but the result is often the same: if that moisture leaking into your property comes into regular contact with timber, wet rot is going to set in and grow.

Many people might ask ‘what’s the difference between wet rot and dry rot?’, as the two are often confused for each other.

However, they are completely different issues and they require separate solutions. So, understanding what causes wet rot, what allows it to spread, what damage it can do to your property, as well as how it should be treated are all vital when treating wet rot.

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What Causes Wet Rot?

Wet Rotten Wood

Wet rot, as the name suggests, is a type of detrimental fungus which affects wood that is wet. Wet rot is commonly found in timbers that have become damp due to excess moisture. Wet rot can occur anywhere within or outside a property, wherever water has been in long term contact with the wood.

The most common ways that wet rot are caused in a property are as follows:

  1. Broken or leaking water pipes
  2. A leaking roof, damaged guttering, or defective air bricks
  3. Defective seals on baths and showers
  4. Badly plumbed dishwashers, washing machines, and other similar appliances.

Knowing the cause of wet rot is just as important as treating the wet rot itself, as without finding a remedy to the cause of the wet rot it will only return. If, for example, the wet rot affected timbers are replaced, but the cause of the wet rot isn’t treated, it’s very possible that over time the new timbers will develop wet rot.

The moisture in the timbers is why the wet rot has developed, so it follows naturally that if you discover the source of the moisture in the timbers and put a halt to it, the wet rot itself cannot return.

We recommend that for total eradication of wet rot in your property you get in touch with a team of wet rot specialists. Our team here at Timberwise know exactly what to look out for when it comes to wet rot, and not only can we treat, repair, or replace the affected timber, but we can also discover what the cause of the wet rot is in the first place so it can be remedied.

What Causes Wet Rot?

How to Identify Wet Rot

Darkened Wood Rot

One of the main problems when it comes to wet rot is that it can often develop in areas of your property that might not be immediately visible. This can include areas such as behind the stairs, underneath your flooring, or within the loft. This means that whilst wet rot is developing you might not notice it at all, and the damage to your timber could be severe and unrestricted as it grows unnoticed.

Another problem when identifying wet rot is distinguishing wet rot from dry rot. Obviously, a layperson might not be able to distinguish wet from dry rot, or notice an infestation whilst its still in its beginning stages – especially considering how tricky it can be to find in the first place.

So, to help you stay vigilant here are some of the top signs that your property might have a wet rot problem.

1: Check your properties timber for signs of localised fungus growth.

2: If your timber has been affected by wet rot it will feel soft and spongy, so don’t be afraid to touch and prod the timber in your property. It can even feel soft through a coat of paint, or you might notice that affected sections of timber look darker than timber that surrounds it.

3: When wet rot affected timber is dry it will be incredibly brittle, and crack and crumble easily. Again, don’t be afraid to handle the timber to see if it crumbles into tiny particles easily.

4: You may notice that wood around doors and windows has a bleached effect, like the colour is running or has gone a different shade to surrounding timber.

5: Paintwork can be a telltale indication on the presence of wet rot. If paint on the timber looks flaky or damaged, you could have wet rot. A good way to check is by taking a thin bladed knife, and pushing it into the painted timber. The knife should stop after a short distance, or meet hard resistance immediately. If you can easily slide the blade in up to the hilt though, that’s a sure sign of wet rot.

6: A damp and musty smell in your property would be a tell tale sign of wet rot, and a good way to identify a sign of wet rot without being able to see it properly.

Remember, should you notice any of these signs in your property, you should get in touch with our team of property care experts immediately to arrange for a wet rot survey.

Identifying Wet Rot

Does Wet Rot Spread?

Wet Rotten Wood

Wet rot, unlike dry rot, does not spread. However, this doesn’t mean that wet rot can be left alone and untreated, as wet rot can cause serious structural damage to your property.

Wet rot growth will stop once the moisture, and the source of the moisture is removed – this is why it’s essential to treat the wet rot and the cause of the wet rot, to both remove the infestation and eliminate the chances of it returning.

It’s also worth knowing that wet rot cannot spread or live within masonry.

Can I Treat Wet Rot Myself?

Wet rot, like many property care problems, is best handled by experienced surveyors and technicians who have the technical knowledge to identify and treat the wet rot present in your property.

Not only will the wet rot need to be treated, but the cause of the wet rot identified and fixed, and any affected timber may need to be either repaired or replaced as needed. This is especially important where cases of dry rot have impacted structurally important timber, which is vital to your property’s health.

With all this in mind, it may well be the case that wet rot is a little more than the average DIY hobbyist can take on.

We strongly recommend that if wet rot is discovered in your home you get in touch with our team of property care experts. If you are inexperienced with wet rot you will find it a time consuming and difficult job, one that potentially poses serious, hazardous risks to both your own and your property’s overall health – especially if you do not have the correct tools to handle the job correctly.

In some cases, unaffected timber surrounding the area afflicted by wet rot may be salvaged. This means new timber could be spliced onto old, especially in areas that may have only seen a small amount of timber affected. This obviously requires the attention of someone experienced in timber repair and restoration.

Once treatment is complete any new timber, either installed fresh or spliced with the old, will need to be treated with a high quality wood preserve. This treatment will reduce the possibility of fungal regrowth in the timber. It’s also essential that before the timber is sealed off entirely so that it is allowed to dry out completely. Again, this is to minimise the risk of wet rot rematerializing after treatment has completed.

We want to emphasise that an effective, time sensitive, and future proof wet rot treatment is best handled by professionals, with experience handling delicate property care work. You can contact our team today to start your properties journey back to health after a nasty wet rot growth.

Request a Wet Rot Survey

How To Treat Wet Rot?

Wet Rot affecting floorboard

Wet rot treatment is the process of stopping the source of moisture causing the wet rot fungus, and drying out the surrounding areas of the infestation. If this process is successful, future regrowth of wet rot will have been prevented.

The actual process of eradicating wet rot depends entirely on the severity of the wet rot infestation itself. In most cases where wet rot is present a minimal amount of timber will need to be cut away and replaced with fresh uninfected timber, which in turn will have to be sprayed with a high quality wood reserve and fungicidal treatment to deter and control the likelihood of possible future regrowth.

The Wet Rot Treatment Process

  1. Identify the nature, type and extent of the decay brought about by the wet rot.
  2. Determine the cause of the wet rot, discovering the source of the moisture causing the wet rot and then drying out the surrounding area.
  3. Propose a cure for the wet rot, with a full specification and method statement for the wet rot treatment to be used.
  4. Where the timber has been affected by wet rot and lost its strength, it will be removed and replaced.
  5. The area around the timber affected by wet rot will be treated with a wood hardening agent as well as a preservative.
  6. Decide on what further steps should be taken in order to properly safeguard the property against wet rot.

As is the case with most property care problems, the longer a wet rot problem has existed within a property, the worse it is going to be. If wet rot is caught during its early stages, then it might well be the case that only small areas of the timber will need to be replaced.

Adversely though, where it hasn’t been discovered and the wet rot has been allowed to progress into a more serious case, the replacement of entire timbers may well be necessary.

If the wet rot has spread to and damaged or weakened structurally significant timber, we strongly recommend that you seek out the advice of a wet rot specialist on the feasibility of replacing or repairing the vital timber, and what processes might need to be followed in order to make sure that the structural stability of the property is safe for you and your family.

What Is The Cost Of Wet Rot Treatment?

Wet rot is not a one size problem, and because of this every wet rot infestation will come with a different price for treatments. Each occurrence of wet rot is different, so our team of specialists need to inspect the wet rot before a price for treatment can be set.

By completing our online wet rot survey request, we can arrange for a wet rot specialist to come to your property and complete a full inspection. This survey will allow our team to fully comprehend the wet rot issue in your property and give you an accurate quotation for your wet rot treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns about a possible wet rot infestation within your property, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team on 0800 288 8660 today.

Please remember, the longer a wet rot problem is left alone, the worse that problem is going to get and the more structural damage you might incur. Make sure to call or complete our online survey as soon as possible if you suspect wet rot in your home.

Get In Touch With Our Wet Rot Specialists

If you have wet rot in your property, or are unsure whether you might have a wet rot problem in your property, then just get in touch with our team of specialists.

You can contact us by calling us on 0800 288 8660, by filling in the form below, or by clicking on the lets chat button in the corner of the screen.

Alternatively, try getting in touch with your local office to ask for advice, and see about booking a wet rot survey.

If you are having any problems with wet rot please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our specialists. You can contact us via our let’s chat’ button or alternatively, give us a call on 0800 288 8660 where our Timberwise team will be able to help with your property care problem. You can also visit our local office to ask for advice or arrange a wet rot survey.