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The Long-Term Effects of Wet Rot


Wet rot is a fungus that can destroy your home if not stopped. It can be difficult to spot with signs such as brown fungus growing on timber or a damp musty smell that can easily be overlooked. It’s common in both old and new buildings, but the fungus grows best when there is a regular source of moisture.

If you notice some of the signs, you most likely have wet rot. London has so many buildings close together, making it the perfect home for wet rot. If not treated, wet rot can seriously damage your property.

Stability and Structure

If your building has a timber frame, wet rot can completely destroy it. The structure and stability of the building could be at risk if left untreated, floorboards could feel weaker and there might be cracks in the timber. The fungi thrive in damp areas with poor ventilation and eat away at the timber leaving it cracked and soft.

When the fungi feed on the wood, it destroys the cellulose and lignin of the wood. It can take a lot of time to see the structural damage, by which time it may be too late, making the treatment of wet rot highly important.

Brown and White Wet Rot

There are two different types of wet rot; brown wet rot cracks and shrinks timber and, because of the vegetative part in the fungi, it presents itself as brown. Although there are different types, Cellar Fungus and Mine Fungus are two of the most commonly diagnosed types of wet rot.

White wet rot has a fibrous texture and presents itself as being stringy. The rot won’t actually appear white, instead, it shows as a light brown sheet-like growth. The most common being Phellinus Contiguus. 

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

Like any rot, dry or wet, if left untreated can cause wooden floors or structure to collapse. Due to the way that the fungi grows and eats away at the wood, the stability of the building could be at risk of folding in on itself. Wet rot can go undetected so, if there’s any chance that you believe it might be an issue, look at having a survey to check.

Treating Wet Rot in London

At Garratt’s Damp, we have specialists that can identify and treat wet rot. We can fit extractor fans in rooms that may have poor ventilation and remove and replace any affected timber. The remaining timber will need to also be sterilised to prevent further fungi from growing. To book a free survey, call us on 0208 535 7536.

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