Damp and Timber Specialists for 50 years

Few things strike fear into homeowners’ hearts like the discovery of dry rot. This tenacious fungus feasts on timber, weakening its structure and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

However, there’s no need to panic. By understanding the factors contributing to dry rot and learning how to prevent it, you can equip yourself with the tools to protect your home.

Prokil have been dealing with dry rot infestations for over half a century, so we know more about identifying, preventing, and treating it than anyone else. Below, we’ll delve into what dry rot is, its causes, prevention methods, and what steps to take if you spot it in your home.

What is dry rot?

Serpula Lacyrmans Fruiting Bodies
Unlike its water-loving cousin, wet rot, dry rot thrives in environments with moderate moisture levels – typically between 50% and 70%. This makes it more commonly found in places like basements, cellars, and poorly ventilated crawl spaces.

Certain types of timber are also more susceptible to dry rot. Softwoods like pine and spruce offer ample nutrients for the fungus, while hardwoods like oak are generally more resistant.

What are the main causes of dry rot?

Damp Timber
Dry rot stems mainly from excessive moisture in wood combined with poor ventilation. Here are the key culprits:

  • Penetrating Damp: This happens when water finds its way into the structure, often through leaky roofs, damaged brickwork, or windows and doors that don’t effectively repel water.
  • Rising Damp: This occurs when the damp proof course (DPC) is ineffective or has failed, allowing moisture to rise from the ground.
  • Condensation: Poor ventilation can trap moist air in spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, or unused areas, leading to water vapour forming on walls and windows.
  • Moisture-Soaked Timber: Wood that’s already saturated with moisture due to past leaks or plumbing issues, or wooden elements buried in damp soil or consistently exposed to ground moisture.

Pinpointing the root cause of dry rot is key to addressing it and preventing future occurrences. This might involve making repairs, improving ventilation, and considering DPC work where needed.

How do you prevent dry rot?

Timber Treatment Spray
The good news? Taking proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk of dry rot in your home. Here are some key strategies to try ahead of time:

  • Prevent Moisture Ingress: Fix any leaks promptly, as even minor water intrusions can create conducive conditions for fungal growth.
  • Maintain Good Air Circulation: Make sure that moisture-susceptible areas, such as basements and crawl spaces, are well-ventilated. You can do this by opening windows or, if this isn’t possible, using dehumidifiers. You should also avoid storing objects directly against walls, as this can impede airflow and contribute to moisture buildup.
  • Treat Timber: Give your timbers some extra care with a preservative treatment. This will create a protective layer that repels water and resist the fungi causing dry rot.
  • Check for Signs of Rot: Regularly check your timbers (especially if they’re untreated or in less ventilated areas) for telltale signs of rot. Keep an eye out for cracked or discoloured wood, fruiting bodies resembling mushroom-like growths, and musty smells. Early detection allows for timely intervention and can prevent the escalation of the issue.

What should you do if you find dry rot in your home?

Unfortunately, dry rot is tenacious and may rear its head even after following the steps above. It’s possible to tackle the issue yourself with the right tools and expertise, but dry rot has a way of penetrating deep into wood, necessitating extensive removal and replacements. In more advanced stages, it can even pose a risk to the structure. It’s usually best to seek advice from a qualified surveyor promptly. This will ensure the affected areas receive proper treatment, protecting your property while preventing costly repairs down the line.

Enjoy a safe and clean home with Prokil’s expert dry rot treatments

If you discover dry rot in your home, don’t despair! Prokil’s expert technicians have been dealing with damp, rot, and mould for over 50 years, and are well-equipped to handle even the most challenging infestations.

Upon visiting your property, we’ll survey it to identify the full extent of the damage and pinpoint the moisture source. We’ll then return on a later date to remove infected wood with minimal disruption to your home, treat the surrounding area with fungicides to prevent further spread, and install high-quality treated wood to restore structural integrity. We can also treat other timber in your home for even more robust protection.

Our services cover the south of England and Wales, including London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Dorset, Hampshire, and further afield. Wherever and whenever you need us, we’ll be there.

Don’t let dry rot rob you of your peace of mind. Reclaim your home’s health and safety by contacting Prokil today!

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