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Dry Rot
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Dry Rot

Home & Dry solutions: dry rot

Sometimes known as brown rot due to the miscolouration of plaster and timber and occurs in damp, poorly ventilated, generally unoccupied buildings If you expect you have dry rot then you already know that you could be in trouble. If it helps it's treatable and need not mean removing all the wood, brickwork and plaster and family members from your home. Here you will find some info on dry rot and how to treat it.

Although they don't sound a lot different wet rot and dry rot are very different mainly because one is caused by excess water and the other by a fungus called Serpula lacrymans. Lots of fungus and mushrooms destroys wood, just look in any forest, the difference with Serpula lacrymans is that it loves the interior of buildings that are damp and poorly ventilated. It also has the trick of being able to cross brick work and plaster and into timber beyond. Add to this that when it releases its spores these carry and if they find damp wood they grow causing more damage. It is important to note that dry rot does not occur on dry timber but has to start on damp timber which can become dry.


A big problem with dry rot is that it occurs in hard to reach places such as under floor boards, behind plasterboard and in roofs. Therefore symptoms of collapsing walls is not uncommon but thankfully you can spot a few things before this outcome presents itself

    Early Stages
  • Off white cotton-like sheets on timber and brick work
    Later Stages
  • Thick white fungal strands
  • Brick red colouring
  • Deep cracks along grain of timber

Like wet rot the best way to avoid dry rot is to prevent the water gettting at the wood in the first place. There are several ways in which the water can get in (see damp section) and don't over look condensation as this can be over looked can this affects window sills in poorly ventilated rooms notably the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms.


Get the wood out of the water!

Not surpringly this is the first cause of action and takes in the form of a survey to find out where the water is coming in. This is very important as the scope of the damage could be very dangerous to people in the house is supporting timbers have been affected.

With the scope of the damage reported on clarified the all affected material needs to be removed and replaced with the problem of water getting solved at the same time. The amount of material that needs to be replaced can be far more than just the affected area as wet rot may have caused structural damage to other areas of the building but lets hope not.

If you think you are suffering from wet rot then give us a bell and we can let you know the state of damp in your house.

Red Fungus
wet rot

If you have a redish fungus creeping under a wall and onto your carpet perhaps give give us a ring and stay off any supporting beams.

Dry Rot: Special cases
timber damage

In some cases treatment of dry rot specialist surveyors would be needed. So if you live in a listed building treating damp can get complicated.