Wet rot damaging timber

Wet Rot

Wet Rot

For effective wet rot solutions call us on:

0800 288 8660

Here at Timberwise, we have many years of experience as wet rot specialists. We can help identify wet rot, find the root cause and treat the wet rot so it is no longer an issue in your property. Please see below to find out more about wet rot and how we can help you;

Treating Wet Rot

Quick Navigation:

What Is Wet Rot?
How Is Wet Rot Caused?
How To Identify Wet Rot?
Does Wet Rot Spread?
Can Wet Rot Be Treated Yourself?
How To Treat Wet Rot
What Is The Cost Of Wet Rot Treatment?
Get In Touch Our Wet Rot Specialist

Michael Horton Timberwise

Accredited to

Michael Horton

Remedial Surveyor and Waterproofing Design Specialist CSRT CSSW
South East

What is Wet Rot?

Wet rot, very simply put, is a natural decay of timber in the presence of high moisture.

Wet rot is a general term that is often used to describe various fungal species that are responsible for wet rot. The most common of these wet rot fungal species is Cellar Fungus. These wet rot fungi get their food by breaking down the walls of wood cells. Over time this leads to a loss in the strength of the wood.

Any timber that is exposed to excess moisture will become an ideal breeding ground for wet rot pours. This excess moisture that leads to wet rot can be due to different reasons. For example, it could be from a leaky roof, burst pipes in your home, a leaking bath or a washing machine that has not been a plumber incorrectly. The reasons for excess moisture in your home are endless, but the result is the same. If your timbers have been exposed to damp for a length of time, the outcome is likely to be a form of wet rot, and this needs to be treated.

While wet rot is commonly confused with dry rot; they are very different issues and need to be treated in different ways. While wet rot is not as destructive as dry rot if left and not treated it can lead to serious structural damage to your building.

Wet Rotten Wood

What Causes Wet Rot?

As the name wet rot suggests, wet rot affects wood that is wet. We commonly find wet rot in timbers that have become damp due to excess moisture. Generally speaking, wet rot can occur anywhere where there is water in a property and the water has been in long-term contact with the wood.

However, the most common ways in which wet rot is caused are as follows;

  1. Broken water pipes / leaking water pipes
  2. A leaking roof, damaged guttering or defective air bricks
  3. Defective seals on baths and showers
  4. Dishwashers, washing machines and similar appliances that are incorrectly or badly plumbed in.

It is important that the root cause of wet rot is found so the issue will not persist in the future after the wet rot and timber has been treated. If the root cause of the wet rot is not found and new timbers are installed, the same issue could recur again and again.

The main cause of wet rot is moisture in the timbers; you just need to find out what the root cause of wet rot is in your property and where the excess moisture has come from. Then you can get the root cause fixed and your wet rot treated.

We would recommend calling in a team of wet rot specialists, like the team here at Timberwise. We know what to look out for when it comes to wet rot and we can quickly find the root cause and where the damage has been done.

What Causes Wet Rot
Darkened Wood Rot

How to Identify Wet Rot

One of the biggest issues with wet rot is that the wet rot often progresses in non-visible parts of the property such as behind the stairs, in the loft or underneath the flooring for example. A difficult task is identifying whether the wood rot fungus, that is affecting your property, is either wet rot or dry rot. Due to the fact, the wet rot is so tricky to find it is often not found until it has progressed into a much larger problem.

Here are some top tell-tale signs of wet rot in your property. If you notice any of these then we would recommend that you call in our wet rot specialists that can complete a consultation for you and catch wet rot at the earlier stages of the problem before larger structural damage issues are caused.

1. Check your timber for localised fungus growing on it.

2. If your timber has been affected by wet rot then it will feel soft and spongy so touch and prod it. Even through a coat of paint the timber will feel soft, or you may notice it looks darker than timber that surrounds it.

3. When the timber is dry it will crack and crumble easily. Once again, poke the timber and check if it crumbles off into tiny particles.
4. You may notice that the wood has bleached around doors and window frames; this is another way you can identify wet rot in your property.

5. Look at your paintwork. If the paint is damaged or flaky this could be wet rot. Take a thin bladed knife and push it into the painted timber. The knife should stop after a short distance, but if it goes in up to the handle this is a sure sign of wet rot on your wood, behind your paint.

6. You may notice a damp and musty smell in your property. Again, this would be a tell tale sign of wet rot and a way that you can identify wet rot in your home.

If you have identified potential wet rot in one or more of the ways above, we would highly recommend you call in one of our wet rot specialists. They will quickly confirm if you have wet rot in your property and recommend the next action.

How to Identify Wet Rot

Does Wet Rot Spread?

Unlike dry rot, wet rot does not spread, however, this does not mean it can be left untreated as that can result in serious structural damage to your property. Wet rot does not spread through the masonry. The wet rot growth will cease when the moisture is removed. This is why it is essential that when treating wet rot the root cause is also found and fixed.

If you have unprotected timber in your property, it is at risk of a wet rot attach if your property becomes damp.

Can Wet Rot Be Treated Yourself?

Here at Timberwise we would recommend that you get a professional wet rot expert to deal with wet rot issues. This is because it is not only the wet rot that needs to be treated, but the root cause of the excess moisture needs to found and fixed too.

While many enthusiastic DIYers often feel like they can take on the world, we would not recommend it when it comes to wet rot. This can be a very time-consuming job for someone that does not have the experience or tools for the job. It can also cause serious and dangerous structural damage to a property is the wet rot is not handled fully or correctly.

If you find wet rot in your property we would highly recommend a professional treats your wet rot as it can easily compromise the structural integrity of your property.

In some cases, it will be possible to salvage the timber around the wet rot. This means you could splice new timber onto old timber, especially if it is only a small area that is affected.

However, it is essential that all new and surrounding wood is treated with a good quality preserve. This will reduce the possibility of fungal re-growth. It is also essential that you leave the whole area to dry out fully before it is sealed off.

If you feel that this may be beyond your DIY skills or you do not have experience in this area, again, we would recommend you call in a wet rot specialist for the safety of yourself and your property.

Wet Rot affecting floorboard

How To Wet Rot?

Wet rot treatment is the process of stopping the source of moisture and drying out the surrounding areas of the infestation. In doing so will prevent the regeneration of rot for the future.

The eradication procedure of wet rot is dependent on the severity of the issue. In most cases, minimal areas of infected timber will need to be cut out, replaced and potentially sprayed with a fungicidal treatment.

Wet Rot Treatment Process

  1. Identify the nature, type and extent of the decay
  2. Determine the cause, finding the source of moisture and drying out the surrounding area
  3. Propose the cure for the rot with full specification and method statement for the wet rot treatments
  4. Where timber affected by wet rot has lost its strength timber would have to be removed and replaced
  5. The surrounding area should be then treated with a wood hardener and preservative.
  6. Advise what additional steps (if any) are required to safeguard the property

Like most property related problems, the longer the problem has persisted without being acted upon, the worse the problem tends to be - much the same can be said for wet rot. If wet rot is spotted in its early stages, it may be the case that only small areas of timber need to be treated, in more serious cases where the rot has been able to spread across timber, replacement of entire timbers may be necessary.

In more serious circumstances, where the structural timber of a property has been significantly weakened, the recommendation of a wet rot specialist is advisable as large amounts of infected timber may need to be replaced to ensure the structural integrity of your property is safe for you and your family.

If you are having problems with wet rot then request a wet rot survey online so a surveyor can provide a full inspection and to help provide advice and necessary treatments.

What Is The Cost Of Wet Rot Treatment?

Every property and wet rot issue is different, which means different levels of wet rot treatments are required. By completing our online wet rot survey we can arrange for a wet rot specialist to come to your property and complete a full inspection. This will allow us to fully understand 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 wet rot in your home, or wet rot treatments then please contact our friendly team at Timberwise on 0800 288 8660.

Remember, the longer you leave a wet rot problem in your problem, the bigger the issue will be as more structural damage will be caused. So call us now or complete our online survey.

Get In Touch Our Wet Rot Specialist

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.