Identifying Wet Rot

How to identify wet rot

Check vulnerable areas of timber, such as window and door frames, for signs of rot. The bottom of frames is more susceptible to rot where water can collect or the wall/floor is suffering from damp. If the paint finish is damaged, this can increase the risk of wet rot. However, although the paint may look sound, the timber underneath may be rotting from the back. Timber suffering from wet rot will feel spongy (even through a coat of paint) and look darker than the surrounding timber. When dry, the timber will easily crack and crumble into fine particles. Timber in the roof can also be at risk especially where there is roof damage allowing rainwater to run onto the roof timbers.

There are a number of tell tell signs to look for, which could indicate the presence of wet rot:

  • Distortion, discolouration, softness, cracking and the loss of strength to the timber
  • Smell – there may be a damp musty smell
  • Visible fungal growth – this may sometimes occur

There are many species of wet rot, which attack timber. However, the two most common are called Cellar Fungus (Coniophora puteana) and Mine Fungus (Fibroporia vaillantii).

Wet Rot