Wet rot and dry rot are the most common types of wood-destroying fungi. Despite their names, both require a source of moisture to begin germinating and start feeding off the wood in your property. Our guide has been designed to show you what the differences are between wet rot and dry rot, and how to identify the signs of wet rot so you are prepared and informed about how best to protect or repair your property from either form of wood rot.
Our surveyors are highly specialised in the identification and treating of all types of wood rot in a wide variety of property types. If you are worried that you may have identified a problem, get in touch with our wet rot specialists today.
Wet rot and Dry rot share many similar characteristics. They are both types of fungal decay that can impact the structural integrity of your property if left unchecked. Moreover, adequate ventilation in the property is critical to prevent either from forming.
The first difference between the two is how much moisture content they need to be present in timber before they can begin to germinate. Wet Rot thrives in timber with a high moisture content of around 50% or higher, whereas dry rot only requires 20% moisture presence before it can attack.
The next difference is in their ability to spread throughout the building. Wet rot can grow and expand, however, the fungus needs a continuous source of moisture to grow, as a result, wet rot will remain localised in place, making it much easier to deal with.
On the other hand, dry rot is a far more serious problem because it can spread beyond the initial damp germination site. Indeed, dry rot spores and fungal growth will even spread through thick walls and masonry in search of timber to attack.
Wet rot is the general term for several fungi that will degrade the strength of wood and timber, they are generally divided into two types, brown rots and white rots. White rots will feed on both cellulose and lignin content in the wood whereas brown rot will only digest the cellulose.
The species most commonly found is Coniophora puteana (cellar fungus). Other species include Fibroporia vaillantii (mine fungus) and Phellinus spp.
Wet rot fungus occurs when there is excess moisture in the property. This rot needs a continuous source of moisture to germinate and thrive, as a result, wet rot will only affect internal timber if there is a significant damp problem. Common property maintenance issues like structural defects, broken plumbing or guttering and leaking pipes can leading to rotten wood, timber decay and wet rot fungal growth.
A wide range of fungus species, known as ‘lignicolous’ fungi are responsible for damage, which can affect roof joists, window frames, floorboards, stairs and skirting boards. Dampness and poor ventilation are usually the main reasons for rotting wood.
Many of our customers find themselves in a situation where they have identified some form of rot in their home, but are unsure what type of fungus they are looking at. The following pictures and wood rot signs will help you understand if you have a wet rot problem or dry rot issue.
All or any of the following signs could indicate a wet rot problem in your property:
Damp Musty Smell - A common sign of damp in properties.
Darkened Spongy Timber - Affected timber will appear discoloured compared to neighbouring timber.
Loss of Timber Strength - The texture of affected timber will be soft and spongy, almost bouncy when pressed.
Localised Fungus Growth - Fungal growth will appear next to the moisture source as the fungus does not spread into the masonry.
Water Ingress Problems - If your property has experienced issues with dampness or leaks in the past, there is a chance wet rot could have contaminated timber under the floorboards or in the wooden beams.
Before wet rot treatment can begin, the source of the moisture is identified and fixed first before treatment on the affected timber to prevent recurrent outbreaks. During our wet rot treatment plan, our team of expert surveyors and technicians aim to:
To find out more about the professional wet rot treatment on offer from Rentokil Property Care click the button below.
Rentokil Property Care technicians will replace defective timbers and undertake repairs where necessary to retained sections, including structural and decorative timber. All retained timber is treated using the latest fungicidal formulations to prevent further infection. Where necessary adjacent masonry is irrigated and surface sprayed with a biocide.
Wet rot is not as damaging as dry rot, a different fungal timber problem, and the two should not be confused as they require very different treatments. However, wet rot problems can still cause significant structural damage.
Any timber that is affected by wet rot has the potential to weaken to the point that it breaks and the severity of this can vary from damaged floorboards to the collapse of structural beams.
Any home or commercial property can suffer from wet rot if enough moisture is present and the timber is untreated.
If you suspect or are unsure if your property could have wet rot problems, we are here to help. Our team of locally-based experts are experienced in identifying, removing and treating against wet rot of any size.
Get in touch with our team or click on the button below to book a survey online.
For more help and advice to identify and treat wood rot take a look at the links below.