Dry rot signs

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What is dry rot

Dry rot is a very serious timber condition that often does its damage while hidden from view. It may be surprising that something as distinctive as dry rot fungus can spread unnoticed, but dry rot often grows where people do not look - behind plaster, under floorboards or up in lofts. For this reason it is important to know the subtle signs of dry rot as well as the obvious ones.

Knowing how to spot the tell tale signs of dry rot will help catch it as early as possible, saving time, effort and cost when it comes to applying dry rot treatment. If the dry rot signs highlighted below are appearing in your property we would recommend visiting our dry rot treatment page. 

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tell tale signs of dry rot

Look out for the following signs to help identify dry rot in your property:

Tell Tale sign 1 - Damaged timber

When timber is damaged by dry rot it is often brown in colour with dry and brittle cuboidal features that are easily broken or crumble in your hand.


(click on images above for hi-res version)

Tell tale sign 2 - Concentrated Spore dust

Most properties contain dry rot spores and they are usually harmless. However, if you notice large concentrated patches of fine orange/brown dust this would indicate that a dry rot outbreak is in progress.


(click on images above for hi-res version)

Tell tale sign 3 - Grey strands on timber

Fine greyish strands, not unlike cobwebs, that develop from dry rot spores are known as hyphae. This stage in the dry rot lifecycle allows dry rot to spread and grow by extracting moisture from damp areas and feeding on timber.

 (click on images above for hi-res version)

Tell tale sign 4 - White mycelium

Mycelium are silky cotton wool-like cushions, varying in colour from grey to pure white, that dry rot produces when it needs to spread to nearby timber.

 (click on images above for hi-res version)

Tell tale sign 5 - Dry rot fruiting bodies

The final stage in the dry rot lifecycle is perhaps the most visually distinctive. The mushroom-like fruiting bodies occur when dry rot can no longer feed on the timber it is attached to and needs to pump spores into the atmosphere to begin a new cycle.

 (click on images above for hi-res version)

Tell tale sign 6 - The smell

Dry rot timber decay is accompanied by a damp, musty smell. If you notice this odour creeping into your property you should be vigilant for any of the signs above.

Do you have a dry rot problem?

If the dry rot signs above seem familiar, it is strongly advised that you consult a specialist to investigate a possible dry rot issue. Contact Wise Property Care and ask for a dry rot survey or visit our dry rot treatment web page for information on how to treat a dry rot problem.

Dry rot treatment

If you suspect there is dry rot in your property it is important you get it treated by a professional. Find out more about what we do at Wise.

Stop the rot

Dry rot Survey

We are one of the few dry rot specialists regulated by Which? The PCA and Trustmark, you can be sure our surveyors are the best in the business.

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Contact the dry rot experts

If you want to speak to someone regarding a dry rot issue, contact Wise Property Care today on 0800 65 22 678 or click to contact your local branch.

Alternatively, use our contact form and we will organise a one of our dry rot experts to call and speak to you.

Contact the Dry Rot Experts


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