Dealing with Dry Rot – Pictures

Over the years we have seen it all! So we thought we would put a collection of pictures together to show you how leaving dry rot untreated, can cause the damage that it does!Dry Rot


Dry Rot

Dry rot is a severe type of wood rotting which can devastate the wood structure, turning it a brown colour and eventually reducing the timber to a dry and crumbly consistency. If you notice red dust forming below timber structures around your property, the appearance of white fungal mushrooms from crevices, shrunken and dark discoloured wood, or a pungent mushroom smell, then you could have a serious dry rot problem.Dry Rot

Dry Rot adapts well to to the environment within buildings. As such Dry Rot is one of the fastest forms of decay and one of the most difficult to eradicate. If you suspect you have a Dry Rot outbreak in a property you need a Dry Rot specialist to survey the problem and recommend the best cause of action to treat the Dry Rot problem.


The Cause

It can arise when moisture content rises above 28%, typically caused by water leaking directly onto the wood, or if the timber is situated next to damp masonry. High humidity and stagnant air can also contribute to timber suffering from dry rot.

Dry rot is caused by moisture ingress and dampness being present in a property; this moisture can be present due to various forms of dampness.

Spores are present in the atmosphere though need the right conditions for it to start growing. Once they land on timber, they will germinate and produce hyphae (fine strands of fungal growth). These hyphae strands join together to form a mass called Mycelium that can vary in colour from grey to pure white, and these strands grow into and across the damp wood. It can also grow into materials such as plaster, mortars, bricks etc.  It’s ability to grow over building materials in search for other timber is the reason that it is feared so much.  It is often referred to as the cancer of buildings.




First time buyer? – Our guide to Damp

A little knowledge can sometimes go a long way, especially when it comes to buying your first home.

The thought of damp is enough to give anyone nightmares, not only because of the effects it can have on your health, but also the fact it can be costly to fix. Firstly, if you haven’t yet purchased your dream home you can still get the damp checked out, and if found, you may be able to negotiate on price too!

If you have already purchased your first home, don’t worry, we will give a few suggestions further down on how to make damp something of a distant memory!

There are several types of damp and each ones has its own warning sign to look out for as well as the most common tell tale sign, condensation and mould. The main three types of damp are rising, penetrating and lateral.

Rising Dampfirst time buyer

Rising damp is the most common of the three and often the one feared the most! Rising damp however is one of the easiest to spot, with the tell tale signs being that of tide marks. The tide marks are usually up to one metre high and leave a residue of water and salts. The area is often damp to touch and darker in colour, however if the area is dry, it may be a sign of a damp problem that has not previously been resolved.

Other signs of rising damp can include, crumbling plaster or paste if water has gotten through. Wallpaper tends to peel and skirting boards will begin to show signs of decay, especially if screwed/nailed into the wall these can show signs of rust. Along with all these signs there will be a damp musty smell in the air.

A helpful tip when buying a property is to check to see if a damp proof course has already been put in place.  Some older properties were built without one, so this may be worth looking into. Unless it has been rendered over, you will normally see it as a little black line between 3 inches and 2 feet from the ground, running all the way around the external walls.


first time buyerPenetrating Damp

Penetrating damp originates from the outer walls on which it can be seen, especially after rainfall. These patches will get bigger after it has rained. Walls that are more exposed to the elements tend to suffer more from this. You should also check the roof, ceilings and any other interior walls where the external damp patch is.

Leaking pipes, broken roofing, faulty windows and brickwork can also be a cause of penetrating damp as well as the render on the house its self.


Lateral Dampfirst time buyer

Similar give away to rising damp and similar causes of penetrating damp, lateral damp is caused by intrusion from an outside wall, leaky pipes, missing roof tiles and overflowing gutters. It can appear anywhere on the wall and will cause dark damp patches, mildew in crevices and also create crumbly wet plaster. Spores will also appear.




Condensation can often be a sign that something within the home is not quite right. This usually occurs due to poor ventilation within the property but can also be a sign of damp. Before buying you will want to make sure the issues is identified as it could lead to further problems down the line.

Black mould is a sign most commonly associated with condensation and is potentially life threatening, especially to babies and young adults as well as the elderly and anyone who may be suffering from a lung condition. Keep an eye out when going around the property for black isolated spores. Some sellers will often wipe down anything that could be identified, however on close inspection it will still be noticeable.

Before buying a property, a survey should be carried out by a qualified professional should always be carried out. As a first time buyer you should take as much precaution as possible.

Here we have a few simple tips to help reduce condensation within your home:

  • When cooking, ensure that you cover your pans with a lid to reduce moisture. If you have a canopy extractor fan, ensure that you have clean filters (charcoal filters should be replaced every 3-4 months).  If needed, also ensure that you have opened a window. Don’t turn off the extractor fan or close the window as soon as you finish cooking – leave it open for 15-20 minutes afterwards to clear the air.


  • Similar to when cooking in the kitchen, when having a bath or shower turn on an extractor fan or open a window to get rid of the steam. This will help to reduce condensation that appears on your bathroom windows, but won’t eliminate the problem.


  • Where possible, try not to dry clothes on your radiators. If you have no choice but to dry clothes inside we would always advise that you ventilate these rooms.


  • If you have a washing machine or tumble dryer in your property, ensure that it is vented correctly.


  • Double glazing, loft insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. Installing insulation will help to keep the temperature of the surfaces inside your property high.


  • Do not use Portable gas bottles and paraffin heaters as they  produce a lot of moisture, along with a lot of toxic fumes. Not only is this form of heat causing excess condensation in your property, it is also a health and safety hazard.


  • When cooking, having a bath or a shower or boiling a kettle, keep the doors to those areas closed. This will stop moisture escaping to other rooms.


  • Many families have house pets and plants that produce moisture. Cover fish tanks and if you are suffering from excess condensation look to move your plants outdoors.


  • Try not to jam pack bedroom wardrobes or kitchen cupboards. Doing this will reduce the ventilation and trap warm air which will allow mould to develop.


  • Make sure that your furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls so that air can move around the property. Try and position furniture onto internal wall instead of the colder external walls.


  • We all have a room that we spend a lot of time in. Why not open the window slightly to improve the ventilation in the room? Breathing is a major cause of condensation, so this will help to improve the ventilation in your property.


  • Have a constant amount of heating in your property rather than nothing will improve the internal temperature. This will avoid major peak or troughs. Try to couple this with turning the heating on full when you walk into your home.


  • If you don’t have an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen then condensation can occur. Make sure that you wipe down the surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen after you’ve bathed or cooked.  The moisture that is on the tiles or surfaces will quickly turn to mould which is difficult to completely remove.


  • Adequate ventilation is essential to allow the moisture to escape from a property before it turns into condensation. Installing a humidistat fan to the kitchen and bathroom can improve the humidity levels and reduce condensation.


First time buyer – Choosing the best report

With a new home there could still be issues arise, the your best bet would be to carry out a New Build Snagging report or a Condition report, this can be used for a modern house with no obvious sign of faults. However, should you suspect damp within the property on viewing, this wouldn’t be the best option.

Should you suspect damp within the property, you should opt for a Homebuyer’s Report. This report will highlight issues such as damp and subsidence as well as covering and outstanding and necessary issues.

If you are choosing to purchase an older, more run down property, then the best report to go for would be a full Building Survey. This report is the most comprehensive and will carry out the most thorough checks, including under the floorboards and in the attic space, as well as listing any other issues found.

If you are a first time buyer and have any concerns over damp, contact us today to discuss .

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Just for fun: Our favourite jokes

One of the great things about humans is that, even when faced with a problem, we can usually still see the funny side to it.

So with that in mind we have put together a list of our favourite building/timber/construction jokes… and just in time for all you who need a few new jokes at Christmas!

Woodworm Jokes

What did the woodworm say when he went to the pub?Image result for Woodworm joke

Is the bar tender here?

Did you hear about the stupid woodworm?

He was found inside a brick.

One woodworm asked another “How’s life”

“Same as usual” he replied “Boring”

What did the woodworm say to the chair?

It’s been nice gnawing you.

Electrician Jokes

What is an electrician’s favorite flavor of ice cream?Image result for electrician jokes


What kind of car does an electrician drive?

A Volts-wagon.

What do you call a detective electrician?

Sherlock Ohms.

I finally managed to get rid of that nasty electrical charge I’ve been carrying.

I’m ex-static!

Construction Jokes

How do construction workers party?Image result for building construction jokes

They raise the roof!

Why did the construction worker dip his finger in blue ink?

To get a blue print.
Pressed the Hammer Function button on my new drill, and it keeps playing “You can’t touch this”.

Roofing Jokes

Image result for roofing jokesWhy do roof tilers have so much trouble getting out of bed in the morning?

Because they are bedded in mortar.

Did you hear the joke about the roof?

Awww, never mind… It’s over your head!!

Last night in bed, I was gazing up at the stars and was thinking to myself…

Where’s my roof?


Do you have some funny jokes you’d like to share? Why not contact us with your favourite and we will add it to our list.

Dogs sniffing out Damp? Dry Rot Destroyers

Now dry rot isn’t something you would usually associate the word awwww! with, however today I am about to change that, with the introduction of Dry Rot sniffer dogs.

Dry rot is often identified by a mushroom odour, and by this point is well into it’s destructive phase. Sniffer dogs are specifically trained to identify Dry Rot well before this stage. Over months and months of training the dogs are taught the same techniques as those used by the police. “You build up a dogs hunting ability by making it look for a toy. Then you introduce the scent of dry rot to the toy, and then you take away the toy and work with the actual dry rot in an affected area.”

The most common known use for the Dry Rot sniffer dogs is those working on behalf of the National Trust. With Dry Rot common within older buildings, the National Trust have brought in only the best to ensure that any dry rot is found and repaired.

Image result for damp proof sniffer dogs

Meg – The dog that saved a Belfast Library!

Check out this great article on Meg, who helped save a Belfast Library back in January!


Our office dogs not quite ready to be put to work yet!

This is a specialist type of service provided, so isn’t available everywhere yet (as much as we wish it was) …

Sadly the use of Dry rot sniffer dogs is not something as a company we have introduced…not just yet anyway. I think our office dogs would prefer lounging around being pampered all day rather than being put to work.

If your needing a damp survey carrying out call 01226 289670 or fill in our contact form here.