Worried About Rot Issues in your Property?

Learn more about wet and dry rot and what this means for you if you’re planning on buying or selling your London-based property.

Rot is a form of fungal found inside properties that RICS-chartered surveyors are trained to identify within your survey. Rot is a large concern due to its ability to rapidly spread and deteriorate vital materials, such as wood, brick and other substances that are essential parts of your property. If you’re concerned about rot, contact one of our RICS-qualified chartered surveyors today to book in your building defect survey.

What is rot?

Rot is the decay of materials usually caused by unwanted exposure to water. The level of moisture present will dictate if the material is suffering from dry rot or wet rot. Both types of rot cause the rapid destruction of timber, brick and other essential materials, but the treatment will be vastly different to resolve the issue. Out of the two types, dry rot is the most serious form of rot that poses the greatest risk. 

What is the difference between dry rot and wet rot?

Despite appearing similar at first sight, there are detrimental differences between dry rot and wet rot. This includes how they are caused and how to treat them. The fungus caused by wet damage materialises when there is a 50% (or more) moisture content present in the wood. Dry rot, however, can develop even when there’s a lower 20% moisture content present. 

Some of the first noticeable signs of dry rot include an unpleasant smell, cracks in the wood, a spongy feeling in the wood, discolouration or bumps. As the fungus grows, it can become more noticeable through a yellow tint or mushroom bodies beginning to grow. The wood will also begin to crumble easily, indicating the extent of the fungal infestation. 

Alternatively wet rot is named as such because it has a higher water content, meaning that the signs are more noticeable. Typical signs include a black fungus (such as what occurs when a property is suffering from damp), a spongy feel to the material, and damages to any surrounding paint or plaster. Wet rot is typically the result of leaks or high levels of condensation. 

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What are the key indicators of rot?

The key indicators of rot include:

Soft or spongey timber

Wood that crumbles easily

Unpleasant smells

The growth of fungus

Discoloured wood 

Preventative measures to take against rot

The most effective way to prevent the growth of rot in a property is to ensure that it is well ventilated. Most rot is caused by unwanted rot and condensation, so adequate ventilation is essential. This can be done by opening a window or controlling moisture with a dehumidifier. 

It’s also important to check your property for any unwanted leaks. These may be caused through roof and guttering issues or broken/damaged pipes. If this goes undetected and untreated, your wood structures will be exposed to great risk. 

How is rot treated?

If a Chartered Surveyor discovers the presence of either wet rot or dry rot in your property, it’s important that you seek professional help to treat the issue as quickly and effectively as possible. The different types of rot require different treatments. This could be removing any fungus, adding more ventilation to the property, or removing the damaged material entirely and replacing it. Each treatment will also depend on the extent of the damage. 

Worried about rot in your London property? Crest Surveyors are here to help

If you suspect the presence of rot in your current London-based property, or you want to ensure that there is no rot present in a property that you are purchasing, then get help from our RICS-qualified team at Crest Chartered Surveyors. With our Building Defects Survey, we can help identify any issues, provide you with a detailed report on the suspected causes and assist you with finding the most suitable, local professionals to help fix any issues. Simply get in touch today to learn more. 

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