How big a problem is Wet rot?
While wet rot should not to be confused with the more severe timber condition dry rot, it still has the potential to cause substantial damage to your property. Wet rot attacks timber in damp conditions and this makes it a common cause of structural defects particularly when allowed to go unchecked with no wet rot treatment programme in place.
How wet rot occurs
In order to grow, wet rot requires a regular source of moisture. This often comes from sources like defective plumbing, gutters, downpipes or stone pointing. When excess moisture infiltrates timber it can allow fungal spores to germinate and grow, this eventually leads to the timber losing its strength
Put simply, wet rot is timber that is decaying naturally in the presence of high moisture levels.
Wet rot is, therefore, a general term used to describe a variety of fungal species responsible for wood rot, the most common being ‘Cellar Fungus’ (Coniophora Puteana).
Any timber exposed to excess moisture can provide the ideal breeding ground for wet rot spores, meaning wet rot can occur for a number of reasons. It could be that you have a leaky roof, burst pipes, a washing machine that has not been connected up correctly, a leaking bath… The possibilities are endless. Whatever the reason, if timber has been exposed to damp for a sustainable period of time, the outcome is generally a form of wet rot.