Dry Rot Specialists – Learning From Experience

This week we were asked to inspect a rural property that was undergoing refurbishments. The client had called us in a fluster as the main contractor had to pull off-site until the “dry rot” they had uncovered had been sorted out.

We advised that the earliest we could visit the site would be 48 hours later. This was not soon enough, said the client, as they feared the main contractor would be difficult to get back on site once they had left. As we were local to the site, we re-arranged a few appointments and attended that same afternoon.


At first sight, from the ground, the problem did look like an outbreak of dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) to the joist ends at ceiling level.

Upon putting up a ladder and having a closer inspection (the ceiling height was 12 feet!) and testing the moisture content of the end of the timbers that were born into the external wall (10-12% w/w) finally an old-fashioned pick and smell revealed the covering to be an old zinc-oxide type paint or paste which had been applied to all of the joists ends before the first-floor level had been laid.

Externally a weatherboard was removed to reveal the ends of the joists, which were again, even at this point, very, very dry.

Panic over. Client relieved.

If you have any concerns about your timber – whether it is woodworm, dry rot, wet rot or any other type of infestation please call me for advice at 07985 106101 – Dean Webster CSRT.

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