Dry Rot

Dry Rot Survey Specialists Throughout Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Bolton, Wigan, Wales, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Wolverhampton & London

Dry Rot (Serpula Lacrymans) is a form of timber decay that causes serious fungal infections and has the ability to have catastrophic effects within a building.

Dry rot is a very rare fungal infection in a property and can be easily misdiagnosed by a non-remedial specialist. It is easy for our specialist certified surveyor to diagnose Dry Rot due to the years of training and experience.

However, there have been plenty of times when we have been contacted and informed by one of our clients that they have an outbreak of dry rot which has been diagnosed by a builder. Fortunately for these clients they contacted us, specialists in dry rot for a second opinion.

When the dry rot surveys were carried out by our specialist dry rot surveyor, the correct diagnosis for the “dry rot outbreak” (the worst case of dry rot the builder has ever seen) as wet rot caused by a leak, we have managed to save clients throughout the UK thousands of pounds on un-necessary dry rot treatments and where necessary recommended solutions for the wet rot problem they could carry out themselves.

So please don’t fall for non-specialist advice and contact a specialist in dry rot today it could save you money on dry rot treatment that is not necessary.

Wet Rot or Dry Rot? That is the question!

These two types of timber decay are commonly found in buildings in the UK, one more so than the other. This is another specialist area that should not be taken lightly as a misdiagnosis could result in serious damage to timbers in buildings which could lead to ££££’s in timber replacement and timber treatments.

Wet Rot is most commonly found in buildings due to perhaps an isolated area of moisture ingress and poor ventilation of timbers in contact with damp masonry. Wet Rot is the form of timber decay that requires no fungicidal treatment (subject to a timber survey) and can be easily dealt with.

Dry Rot on the other hand is a fungal infection which can spread through buildings behind plasterwork, within voids and other concealments, having a detrimental effect of the structural integrity of timbers in a building. Dry Rot/Timber surveys should be carried out by fully qualified CSRT Surveyors and treated under supervision of a CSRT Surveyor to ensure the infection is eradicated.

During a damp and timber survey subject to your instructions and your damp and timber survey scope, evidence of Wet Rot and Dry Rot will be investigated in your property and reported upon.

Should either of the two types of timber decay be found within the building it will be reported upon and recommendations given in writing.

For more information please do not hesitate to call us. One of our helpfully, friendly team will be happy to assist you. For technical advice ask to speak to a surveyor and one will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Don’t take chances with probably your biggest financial investment; your property. Ensure you have a damp and timber survey carried out by one of our CSRT Surveyors.

What is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is a fungus that germinates from spores that need perfect living conditions such as damp, humid, ill ventilated voids with a plentiful food source of cellulose or lignin within timber. Dry rot can only germinate with 20% moisture content within the timber structure. Dry rot weakens the structure of timber by attacking the lignin and cellulose within it making the timber brittle and in the end structurally un-sound. The timber cracks into cuboidal shapes with deep structural cracking.

Once an outbreak of dry rot has started, it can spread very rapidly throughout your property and can go undetected for many years under floors, within walls and in voids. The tell-tail sign for dry rot many people come across is an orange/brown dust appearing on surfaces, this dust is actually spores that have been transmitted from a dry rot fruiting body into the atmosphere to restart the dry rot lifecycle again. If you have noticed this dust (dry rot spores) appearing we recommend you instruct a dry rot specialist like ourselves, to carry out a thorough dry rot survey to investigate the presence of these spores. Time is of the essence and if you can manage to catch the early stages of dry rot it can be easily eradicated by a specialist damp proofing and timber treatment technician, before the spread of mass spores, strands, Hyphae, mycelium and fruiting bodies appear.

The Four Main Life Cycle stages of Dry Rot

4.Fruiting Body


The dry rot spore starts the dry life cycle and can be omnipresent and one dry rot spore is practically invisible to the human eye. In large numbers these spores appear in an orange/brown dust. These spores will not germinate if dampness and timber are not present.


If the correct moisture content within timber is present the dry spores will germinate and produce very fine strands similar to cobwebs. These fine strands, known as hyphae allow the dry rot fungus to rapidly grow feeding on the timbers lignin and cellulose. These Hyphae will increase in size and rapidly progress through your property. It is in this stage where the fungus breaks the timbers structural strength and produces Mycelium the next stage of the dry rot life cycle.


The mass of dry rot hyphae istermedMycelium. The dry rot Mycelium’s job is to travel in search of timber and moisture for the dry rot out break to progress and become greater in size.

Fruiting Body (Sporophore)

The dry rot fruiting body is white in colour with orange/brown spores to the centre of it. The dry rot fruiting body is produced as the dry rot infections first response to threat, it produces dry rot spores to initiate the dry rot life cycle again.