Posted on
March 12th, 2015

Dry Rot and Wet Rot. What is the Difference?

Being in the UK, it seems like we can never get away from water. If it’s not falling from the sky, then someone will be digging up the road to fix our supply. Whilst its abundance is good for some things, the last place you want an abundance of it is within your home.

Excess water within the home can cause irreparable damage, both to possessions and to the structure of your home. When it comes to the structure of your home, you should keep a keen eye out for wet rot and dry rot. Find out how these are caused, and how to prevent them below.

Ask The Experts

Wet Rot

Wet rot occurs in the direct vicinity of leaks and excess moisture as it requires high levels of moisture to grow. Excess water can collect through loose seals, leaking roofs, pipes or various other sources. When areas such as these have steady streams of moisture which remains for a long time, wet rot can grow. Luckily, once the moisture is removed, wet rot will stop growing – but any damage will have to be repaired.

Wet rot is quite easy to identify, as it has a distinctive look and feel. Wet rot occurs as a white, black or brown fungal growth with a musty smell. It is also soft and spongy to the touch, being easily pressed in with your finger. Wet rot can also be identified in the presence of flaking layers of paint which can form on timbers. This growth within timber frames can lead to increased structural damage, rendering a home unsafe for habitation.

Dry Rot

Despite the name, dry rot requires water to grow, just not in such an immediate vicinity as wet rot. Even with a moisture content of around 20%, dry rot can form. This moisture level doesn’t have to be in the immediate vicinity of the effected timber, and often occurs out of sight, including underneath flooring and within walls. Dry rot can also occur on bricks and masonry, which is where the discovery is often made, but often after damage has been done.

A musty, wet odour and brown brittle timbers that may crumble or flake off when touched are tell-tale signs of dry rot. Once found, it is important to trace the infection back to the source, so that any possible problems can be remedied and all the fungus can be removed.


Of course, prevention is better than dealing with a large infection, so preparing your house with one of our surface treatments for damp and rot is the best way forward. If you are dealing with the after effects, we also stock a range of products to help protect you in the future.

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