Causes of Rot
Identify typical signs of wet and dry rot
Mrs Jackson has let out her terraced house in County Durham to tenants over the past 10 years. She was informed by the current tenants they had recently noticed strange mushroom growths in the kitchen and bathroom areas. Mrs Jackson stated: “My tenants contacted me one day as they had noticed a type of fungi growing in the house. Knowing that that this could potentially be a serious problem I contacted a number of Property Care companies, one of which was Rentokil. The surveyor attended promptly and on completion of his survey informed me that the house had a dry rot problem. This was the result of a leaky pipe. I was very concerned but the Rentokil surveyor was polite and professional and put my mind at rest as he explained exactly what was required, he also quoted me a price that was significantly cheaper than all of the other property care companies that I’d contacted”.
The property was surveyed by Rentokil Property Care surveyor Richard Leckie; “I immediately identified the issue as being dry rot due to the characteristics of the mushroom growth, which had a distinctive red/brown fruiting body along with yellow and lilac tinges. Something had to be done as dry rot can quickly spread throughout a building causing a lot of harm to wood as it grows, including damaging structural timbers”.
Dry rot is a wood-destroying fungus, related to mushroom and toadstool fungi. It produces and releases spores, which are deposited as a layer of brick red dust throughout the building. The wood attacked is gradually destroyed by enzymes produced by the fungus. Deep cracks appear within the wood which breaks down into characteristic cuboidal pieces. The decaying wood appears powdery when dry.
Due to the scale of the problem and the work that would be required, Mark Larsen, Rentokil Property Care Manager, became involved in the job. Marks’ solution to the water damage and dry rot problem was to completely remove all of the decayed wood and damaged linings, including paneling, skirting, doors, and plasterboard throughout the ground floor. The solid wood floor also had to be replaced as this had warped and been damaged due to the original water leak, which also needed repairing. After all of the old damaged material was removed, new fully preservative-treated timber had to be installed, along with new skirting, architrave's, plasterboard, doors and door frames throughout the property. A fungicidal treatment to the remaining timber would also have to be carried out to form a chemical barrier to ensure that dry rot could not re-establish in the property.
The remedial work was carried out over a 4 week period, Mrs Jackson commented on the project, “Mark was brilliant, he took on this very big job and I was pleased that all of the work that was required was being overseen by one company. Mark even project managed the work himself as there was so much to do and quite a few people to organise. After my initial meeting with him I knew that he was a trustworthy person, and I had confidence in knowing that the work would be completed properly. Throughout the project Mark was always available to talk to me, even on weekends, which allowed me to spend this time with my family".
Since the work has been completed Mrs Jackson hasn't had any further issues with dry rot. She says: “It was important that the treatment was carried out correctly, and at a price that was right. We’ve also got a 30 year guarantee on the work, which gave me peace on mind knowing that I never have to worry about any further dry rot problems re-occurring at the property. I would highly recommend Rentokil Property Care and wouldn't hesitate to use them again”.