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The Difference Between Wet & Dry Rot

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The Difference Between Wet & Dry Rot

Wet and dry rot are two common different types of fungal decay and can wreak havoc in a property if left unchecked. With this in mind, familiarising yourself with their similarities and differences is a wise move, if you want to be able to identify and stop rot in its tracks. In this article, the team at Quadrant Damp Proofing will be helping you with this task.

What are the differences between wet and dry rot?

The key difference between wet and dry rot is that wet rot, as you can imagine, needs a higher moisture content to thrive. Wet rot fungus likes to grow on timber with a moisture content of around 50% and above – while dry rot fungus is able to grow and thrive at around 20-30%. Ultimately, this makes wet rot less destructive than dry rot.

Why? Well, as dry not doesn’t need to the same moisture content to grow, it can be much more aggressive, spreading away from the source of the damp and destroying different parts of the property. Wet rot, on the other hand, must stay localised, destroying only the parts of the timber which remain sufficiently damp. This doesn’t mean it should be left untreated, however – wet rot can still cause major structural problems.

Cracks appearing across the grain of Timber

How to identify Dry Rot

  • Affected timber shrinks, causing cracking along the grain of the timber
  • Surface of the affected timber may still be intact, hiding the rot
  • Affected timber will feel soft and spongy to touch
  • Mycelium, the branch-like elements of the fungus, can have a yellow tinge
  • The mycelium may turn grey when older
  • Affected timber will have a damp musty smell
  • Fruiting bodies grow when the rot is well established
  • Paint finish can appear damaged, highlighting the cracked timber below,

How to identify Wet Rot

Mine fungus mycelium on old Beam
  • Affected timber shrinks and buckles
  • Affected timber will feel soft and spongy to the touch
  • Discolouration of timber is often present
  • In some cases, mycelium strands may appear on the timber
  • Wet rot stays fixed to the damp area and does not spread
  • Paint finish can appear damaged, highlighting the cracked timber below
  • Damp musty smell


How to treat wet and dry rot

Wet and dry rot needs to be treated by specialists. Our team will help you to locate and eliminate the outbreak of rot within your property, using our tools and expertise to ensure your property remains structurally sound.

Need some help with wet or dry rot? You’ve come to the right place. As leading specialists in damp proofing for both domestic and commercial customers throughout the North and West London areas, including Ealing and Camden, you can count on Quadrant Damp & Timber Treatments to combat your damp and rot problems efficiently and effectively. We understand just how important it is to act fast, so you can rest assured that our skilled engineers will quickly identify and rectify any issues. For more information, simply get in touch with us today.


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