How to spot wet rot — plus how to treat it according to a chartered surveyor

Rising damp or wet root seeping up a white wall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before we answer the question 'what is wet rot', it's important to understand how severe the issue can be if it's left unchecked. It’s hard to overstate the importance of wood as a construction material in our homes. As well as being used for load-bearing beams, lintels, joists and rafters, timber is the predominant material for interior and exterior joinery - everything from skirting boards and kitchen units to windows, doors, facias and claddings. 

Anything that threatens to weaken these key components – such as wet rot – clearly needs to be rooted out before it has potentially catastrophic consequences. 

Ian Rock

Chartered surveyor Ian Rock MRICS is a director is and the author of eight popular Haynes House Manuals, including the Home Extension Manual, the Self Build Manual and Period Property Manual.

Ian is also the founder of Zennor Consultants. In addition to providing house surveys, Zennor Consultants provide professional guidance on property refurbishment and maintenance as well as advising on the design and construction of home extensions and loft conversions, including planning and Building Regulations compliance.

Ian has recently added a 100m2 extension to his home; he designed and project managed the build and completed much of the interior fit-out on a DIY basis.

With contributions from