All You Need to Know about Wet Rot

There are many different ways in which timber can be affected, making it unsound and in need of replacement or treatment. These include Dry Rot, Wet Rot, or Woodworm; here we focus on Wet Rot.

Wet Rot FAQs

What is Wet Rot?

The higher the moisture content within timber the higher the chance of wet rot.

The most common type of wet rot decay is usually caused by Coniophora puteana, which is found in some form in most properties. Another fairly common fungus is Poria vaillantil, although there are many other less common fungi that may also occur.

While each of the different fungi has its own individual features, the overall appearance and treatment of wet rot is similar. Wet rot is usually confined to the damp area because the mycelium does not spread into walls.

Wet rot is not as destructive as dry rot, but it can and does cause structural damage.

Signs of Wet Rot in Timber Floors

Wet Rot decay is usually first identified when floor timbers start to bounce or have movement.

Skirting boards affected show signs of cracking even through paint. The unpainted unprotected rear of a skirting board will be more vulnerable to wet rot decay.

How To Prevent Wet Rot

To prevent wet rot it is advisable to ensure that all timber, including window and door frames, are well painted/protected from rain water.

Ensure that all gutters and downpipes are free from defects or leaks. Ensure that sub floor ventilation is adequate and unblocked as poor ventilation will contribute greatly to any timber decay problems.

Ensure any new timbers introduced to a building are isolated from masonry by the use of a physical membrane.

Causes of Wet Rot
  • Unprotected timber in direct contact with moisture.
  • Wet rot can affect any unprotected timber and joinery so regular maintenance is very important.
  • Insufficient ventilation below suspended floors.
  • Possible leaks from pipes and domestic appliances.

Recommended Reading

Property Care Association

Take a look at the following page for a wealth of information – www.property-care.org/overview-timber

Mr Graham R Coleman B.Sc (Hons)., M.I.Biol., C.Biol., A.I.W.Sc., F.Inst.S.S.E.

For more in depth information about rot in timber read the “Know your wood rotting fungi” by the industries leading expert who has written many technical publications and articles- www.buildingpreservation.com

Find Your Answer from our Surveyor

Find your question on our Ask the Expert page where our Director Dean Webster has tried to answer all our FAQs!

Wet Rot Examples

Unprotected timber in direct contact with moisture.

Wet rot can affect any unprotected timber and joinery so regular maintenance is very important.

Insufficient ventilation below suspended floors.

Possible leaks from pipes and domestic appliances.

If you’re worried you might have a wet rot problem and want some advice, please feel free to get in touch with us here at South East Timber & Damp. We’re happy to help.