Timber decay within buildings of any age is often caused by rot. Wood rot manifests in two common forms: dry and wet rot, with both being (brought on by) a result of fungal decay in building timbers.
What is Wet Rot?
Wet rot is a type of parasite which grows in wet timber. It distorts the timber, making it swell and separating the fibres, which eventually leads to crumbling and loss of strength in the structure. Wet rot causes wood decay and loss of structural integrity, making the timber disintegrate. Constant exposure to sources of moisture is usually responsible for the formation of wet rot. This exposure could be in the form of penetrating damp from the ‘wet’ side of the building or faulty plumbing. Wet rot is fungi that can spread and inflict damage on neighbouring timbers.
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What is the Difference Between Dry Rot and Wet Rot?
Dry rot causes more and faster damage to structural timber as it spreads and consumes structural wood within a property. Wet rot, however, occurs more often but is typically less severe; decay in such cases is limited to the area affected by water. When fungi are absent, dry and wet rot can be differentiated by considering the difference in timber colour and the extent of damage noticed on the timber according to the progression of either type.
What causes Wet Rot?
The development of Wet rot spores happens only when certain environmental conditions are met. The primary cause of wet rot is moist timber. Moisture plays a major role in the appearance and progression of wet rot. As a result of this, indications of premature deterioration can be seen in the decaying wood.
The Dangers of Wet Rot in Horsham
Wet rot can have a devastating effect on your home; it can even bring down its market value. When you notice wet rot, make sure to treat it quickly, if not there is a high likelihood of it spreading and infecting your house. A recent survey asked 2,038 homeowners in London if they had ever experienced wet rot in their homes, where they noticed it, and whether they were able to prevent a recurrence.
The results were appalling – over 20% of the respondents had noticed wet rot in some form or the other. Wet rot can attack timber flooring; making the property lose its structural integrity. Besides causing costly repairs, it could reduce your property’s value. A majority of insurance providers don’t provide policies to homes with signs of moisture ingress or damp build-up.
What are the Warning Signs of Wet Rot?
The progression of the fungus from its appearance to become a pervasive issue depends on the moisture it is exposed to. Easy to spot signs include the wallpaper peeling off at the corners, the central heating boiler malfunctions, cookers don’t work properly, and/or a musty smell is present. Some of the common areas where wet rot can be found include roof spaces and attics, underneath the kitchen sink, and along the external walls. Wet rot commonly affects older houses built using timber frames as opposed to modern species like Meranti and Sapele. Timber below ground level and as high as the one-floor level are also vulnerable to wet rot. Being able to identify wet or dry rot is a big part of managing its growth. If you believe that your house suffers from a wet rot infestation, then you should carry out a damp survey immediately.
How and When Should I Look for Wood Rot?
You should comb your home annually to look out for signs of wood rot and damp. The pre-winter weatherproofing period is an excellent time to get this done. The inspection requires a long-handle screwdriver as well as a powerful flashlight.
You should check the window siding for signs of discolouration and swelling. Paint can cover wood rot, so the wood must be rough and solid, try jabbing the siding with your screwdriver. If the wood has a spongy feeling and the surface gives in when you touch it, then you have wood rot. Test the attic for discoloured wood using a good flashlight. Conduct the screwdriver test if you come across any discoloured parts. Make sure you go over the roof decking base, the joints linking wood members at the top of the roof, and at the edges of the attic where slanting rafters transition into eaves. These are prime locations for wood rot to grow in the attic.
Using the flashlight to check out discolouration on the perimeter wood plate on the concrete basement wall, study the wood in a crawl space (sill plate) or basement. Use the screwdriver test on any discoloured regions you come across. Check the walls and floors to spot discolouration below sinks and catch water leakage around baths/tubs and the water heater.
How do we identify wet rot?
Identifying wet rot is not an exact science, there many different forms of wet rot that can affect timber in different ways. Pushing a knife up to the handle into painted timber is an effective way to confirm rot. Our professional damp-proofing team has the training and experience to search for the following:
- Localised fungal growth on timber
- The soft, spongy feel of timber; the affected area appears darker than the surrounding timber.
- The soft and spongy texture of rotting timber; the affected region often looks darker than the other parts.
- That spongy, soft feel timber gets when affected by wet rot; the affected parts are darker than the other areas.
- The spongy, soft texture of rotten timber; the infested area is darker than the other parts.
- The springy feeling that is an indicator of wet rot; the affected area is often darker than others around it.
- Crumbling of affected dry timber into particles.
- Dry timber crumbling into particles.
- The crumbling of infested timber into dry particles.
- Dried-out timber disintegrating into particles.
- The disintegration of rot-eaten timber into particles.
- Shrinking timber
- Bleaching wood in window and door frames
- Flaky or damaged paint
- A musty, damp smell
What to Do After You Detect Wet Rot?
You need the services of a damp expert to take on wet rot; ensuring the source of moisture is identified and blocked is crucial to preventing repeat cases. Call Sussex Damp Experts on 01273 257 765 today to get more information about wet rot treatments.
Wet Rot and Damp Proofing in Horsham
Your search for wet rot treatment and damp proofing services ends here! When you call us immediately you notice signs of damp or wet rot, we can fix the problem by putting a stop to the progression of the infestation; helping you avoid pricey repairs down the road and minimising health risks. Our qualified surveyors will help you identify the cause of the issue and the best steps to take in rectifying it.
Timber damp proofing is quite different from cosmetic treatment; it is a strategic approach to maintenance that is geared towards protecting the timber from decay. You can protect the timber from damage.
Surface treatments are never reliable; they fail and worsen the situation in due course. The only available solutions include covering the surfaces using membranes, treating or replacing the timber. If you want to speak to our experts for further information on wet rot treatment, call 01273 257 765 today and let Sussex Damp Experts help.
Wet Rot Treatment Specialists in Horsham
With over ten years of experience in the field, we are one of the leading wet rot specialists in Horsham, offering free surveys and no obligation quotations to householders, landlords and commercial property owners. Our damp proofing team will pay you a visit and identify signs of moisture invasion and wet rot, we will then provide a lasting solution to fix the problem. Our experts use advanced methods to detect and treat various forms of rot in properties.
Wet Rot Treatment in Horsham
Wet rot can be found predominantly in areas that are constantly exposed to moisture. However, we don’t just deal with the affected area alone during treatment, we consider the source as well. We find out where the water is meeting the wood and prevent the damp from recurring in the future, this ensures we put a stop to any reappearance/re-occurrence of timber rot in your property. To get a lasting solution, only seasoned professionals should be responsible for wet rot treatment. Delay in treatment can result in a compounded increase in the treatment cost. The best course of action is to contact Sussex Damp Experts if you see any indication of wet rot anywhere in your building.
Our Wet Rot Treatment Process in Horsham
As is the case of the majority of property-related issues, the longer you put off acting on a persistent problem, the worse it is likely to get. If you notice the presence of fungal rot at the early stages, treatment can be narrowed down to a small area. Severe cases where the rot has advanced across the breadth of timber could mean you will need major repair work or replacements for the timber beams. You must take several steps to treat wet rot. The wet rot treatment should start by attacking the problem at the root; protecting the timber from contact with moisture. If there is water leakage in your home that affects the timber, we identify the source and apply corrective measures. Replacing the affected wood is often the port of call for inexperienced builders or contractors. Using chemical preservatives on the damaged area is usually the next step. Such an approach is assured of failure. If you are unsure about the presence of wet rot in your building, no worries! Sussex Damp Experts is always ready to help you get rid of it and save your timber.
What happens to Wet Rot if left untreated?
Leaving wet rot to grow unchecked will lead to the weakening of the structural timber which could affect the safety of the residents. The timber gets soft and spongy as rot sets in, this means it will cave in when prodded with a sharp-edged object like a knife or screwdriver. The long-term result is a loss of structural integrity in the timber, which could eventually lead to your building being condemned. Call Sussex Damp Experts 01273 257 765 to get started.
What is the cost of Wet Rot Treatment in Horsham?
The effects of rot are devastating for any property. The cost of repair work and damp proofing will vary based on the type and severity of the infestation, but that shouldn’t deter you. Our wet rot treatment services in Horsham come at an affordable cost. We are committed to helping you make the right choices for your home and health.
How to prevent wet rot?
Wood must be ideally kept dry and treated to prevent the timber from decaying. Wood hardeners are an effective way of protecting timber that is at risk of being infested by wet rot. The wood becomes stronger as the hardener soaks into it. Areas that are more prone to damage from damp include window boxes and sills, and timber in close contact with stonework without being subjected to damp proofing treatment like the use of sealants or fungicides.
Talk to Our Wet Rot Treatment Experts Today!
If you need further information on wet rot treatment from one of our experts, call 01273 257 765 today.
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