Assessing Your Wood For Dry or Wet Rot

If damp has penetrated your home, the problem may spread to your timbers.

It’s that time of year when bad weather reveals problems within the home, often as a result of penetrating damp. This condition occurs when water leaks into your property from outside, sometimes due to broken guttering or a slipped roof tile for example. Fixing the root cause of the leak should be job number one, but you’ll also need to check if the damp has affected the structural integrity of your home. This is more likely to be an issue if the damp has taken hold over a longer period of time. Sometimes this is due to putting off dealing with the issue, at other times you may be unaware of the damp, if it exists in your attic for example. When damp is present in your home, this can develop into dry or wet rot which spells disaster for your timber. Here’s how to check if your timber needs treating or even replacing!

Visible Fungus

In the case of dry rot, the wood in your property may appear to be covered in soft, cotton-like sheets that are slightly off-white. This is an early stage of dry rot, but if you notice fungus developing in mushroom-like bodies then it’s time to call in your local damp proofing London professionals for a full assessment of the problem. Dry rot is particularly serious and can spread quickly, so it’s important to take immediate action before the condition progresses.

Cracks In The Timber

Examine the wood in your home, including your skirting boards, door frames and window frames or any exposed beams that you have access to. If you notice any deep cracks present in the timber or that the tone of the wood is darker than other sections, then these are yet more signs that your timbers have been affected by dry rot and will need to be treated. In many cases, it’s possible to repair sections of the wood, but in more advanced scenarios the timber will need to be replaced completely.

Testing The Wood

Both dry rot and wet rot can be identified by assessing the condition of the wood you’re checking. Where dry rot has been able to take hold, you’ll notice that if you apply pressure to the timber, it will crumble beneath your fingers or tools as you push. Wet rot reacts slightly differently but can be tested with this simple knife trick. If you push a thin knife or screwdriver into a piece of wood that you suspect may be affected, you’ll notice that it penetrates deeply in timber that has succumbed to wet rot. In unaffected wood, the knife shouldn’t be able to plunge too far in at all.

Getting Help

If you have identified any areas of concern in your home, then it’s important to call in damp proofing experts immediately to assess the severity of the situation and determine whether timber resin repair or replacement is necessary. You may also require treatment for woodworm where an aggressive infestation is present. With wet weather pouring down each day, any existing damp problem will get rapidly worse unless dealt with, so take action today to safeguard your property!