How do I know if I have wet rot in the floorboards or timbers of my property?

There are two types of fungal decay which can affect timbers; white rots and brown rots. Both white and brown rots need a high moisture content to germinate but are collectively referred to as wet rot. There is one exception: a brown rot called dry rot – which is scientifically known as Serpula Lacrymans.

How to identify the two types of wet rot:

  • White rots can be identified due to the bleaching of timbers. The timbers or floorboards then become fibrous in texture but without cross-cracking.
  • Brown rots cause the timbers to become darker and to crack along the grain.

Factors that can cause a wet rot outbreak:

  • Leaking pipes under subfloors, cellars, roof spaces. A consistent moisture source can provide ideal conditions for wet rot to germinate.
  • Humidity, condensation and penetrating or rising damp, can all contribute to the way wet rot spreads and germinates.

Remedial treatments for wet rot:

  • Locate the source of moisture that is causing the wet rot and encourage ventilation.
  • Promote a drying out process and remove any rotten wood affected by wet rot.

Wet rot can sometimes be misdiagnosed as dry rot. For further definitions see our article: How do I know if I have dry rot in my floorboards or timbers in my property?

This answer is a guide only. Further advice should be sought regarding wet rot, particularly as some of the wet rots can be misdiagnosed as dry rot. Jones Melling has a team of specialists who can advise you on the best course of action regarding your property.

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