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Wet Rot Treatment

As with all fungi that destroys wood, the first and most important consideration when treating wet rot is to understand why the wood got wet in the first place. Once the source of the moisture has been identified, treating the wet rot issue can begin.

It is worth noting that as with many timber treatments & repairs, treating wet rot is a skilled job. Consideration needs to be taken into account for causes, damage and in some cases, risk depending on the damage to timbers. It is recommended to speak to a specialist however, for those that that would like to learn more about what is involved when treating a wet rot issue, keep reading on to find out more. 

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Possible sources of moisture causing the wet rot

The cause of the rot could be: 

  • Lack of maintenance
  • Poor ventilation
  • Building defects
  • Flooding
  • Problems with groundwater
  • Roof leaks

...the list is endless.

In any event the key to successful wet rot treatment is changing the conditions that lead to the rot and ensuring these conditions do not recur.

Wet rot - missing roof tiles - PCA

Establishing the extent of the wet rot damage 

After the cause of the moisture/water ingress leading to the wet rot has been discovered, it is now time to establish the extent of the damage to the building and the treatment needed to fix the wet rot issue.

Without understanding the extent and implication of the decay there is a risk that the repairs will be inadequate and misjudged. The underlying reason for the wet rot problem may also be left unresolved. This will almost inevitably result in a recurrence of wet rot and significant further cost, and inconvenience.  

What does wet rot look like - Weakend Floorboards

Treating timber damaged by wet rot

Timber that has been damaged or weakened by wet rot should be removed and replaced. It is always good practice to replace decayed timbers with wood that has been pre-treated before it arrives on within your property.

In some circumstances, wet timber that is still strong but affected by surface rot, can be protected using timber preservatives. These should be considered complementary to the overall protection of wood that can be saved rather than a principal control measure.

Minimising wet rot damage 

In some specific conditions a specialist may recommend the use of timber preservatives where future wetting is inevitable and where timbers can not be eliminated from the risk of becoming wet. Such situations are uncommon, but in such circumstances the well-directed use of timber preservatives can slow or reduce the effects of wood destroying fungi like wet rot.

Treating large or important timbers for rot 

Where large or important timbers have become damaged by wet rot, but can be protected from water, it may be possible to repair and strengthen rather than replace them. Repairs can be undertaken by jointing or spicing in new wood to old casting or bonding new sections of wooden structures using resins. 
Good building maintenance, the provision of ventilation and timely repair of defects that may result in water ingress are the best way of keeping buildings free of wet rot. 

There are specialists that can help

If the above does sound quite daunting and you are concerned about wet rot issue, then many of our specialist PCA damp & timber members can help. 
Most will be happy to offer some advice over the phone, and if you take some pictures (or potentially a short video), many will likely be happy to help confirm if you have an issue. You can (of course) simply arrange a survey too.
To find a registered PCA specialist near you, simply use the search tool below. 

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Why use a PCA Member - Experts in their Sectors

Professional Guidance

Are you a professional wanting to learn more about timber preservation? Check out our professional timber preservation pages for technical information & webinars. 

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