Fungal Decay in Building Timbers

Commonly referred to as Dry rot or Wet rot, this can affect all properties. Where either is discovered, it should be investigated, and appropriate action taken as a matter of urgency.

If timbers become wet for an extended period of time they may become prone to attack by a number of wood-destroying fungi. The most well known are:

  • Serpula lacrymans – the true dry rot fungus
  • Coniophora puteana the Cellar fungus
  • Poria vaillantii the Pore or Mine fungus.

Dry rot is caused by Serpula lacrymans and is the most serious form of fungal decay. It can spread onto and destroy much of the timber.

Wet rot occurs more frequently but is less serious; typically confined to the area where timber has become and remains wet.

Fungal decay occurs because the wood has become wet, moisture content is excess of 20 per cent in timber.


The first step is to identify and treat the source of dampness, this will allow the drying process to begin.

Identifying the type of the fungal decay is critical before any treatment program can be devised.

One of our trained surveyors will carry out a full inspection followed by a report that details both the cause of the decay and the proposed remedial action.

M Mansell (Watford) is a trading name of Wolfpack Holdings Ltd (Co. reg. no. 11563214)