Wet rot is a generic name given to a range of conditions that can affect timber where there is the continual presence of moisture, perhaps caused by leaking pipework, poor ventilation (resulting in condensation), rising or penetrating damp and so on.
Wet rot is more common than dry rot, but generally less problematic. However, if left untreated, it can cause serious structural problems.
Wet rot can be recognised by a damp, musty smell, fungal threads of black or dark blown colour, or large longitudinal cracking with minor lateral cracks. The growth pattern is similar to dry rot but spores will not germinate in dry timber.
Treatment typically involves replacing the affected timber. In straight-forward cases, this may simply involve cutting out and replacing relatively small areas of timber. In some cases however, it may be necessary to remove entire timbers and replace them. Where these are primary structural members in difficult to access areas, this can be a difficult procedure.
It may be advisable to obtain a specialist survey if wet rot is suspected.
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