How To Identify Dry Rot – Full Survey Walkthrough

This is a complete walkthrough of a dry rot survey that was carried out in Devon. This text is a transcript of the video above.  Hopefully, this video shows why you should always get a proper invasive survey for suspected dry rot, rather than simply a visual survey. This stuff hides behind walls and can cause seriously expensive damage to property if left untreated.

“You need to lift floorboards and you need to take off skirtings otherwise you really can’t see what is going on.

In this room you can see there’s some dry rot. Now you can not always tell if you have dry rot, but an easy way to do it is to look at these cubes where the cuboidal cracking is. Roughly each crack is about an inch give or take, you know it’s sort of a rule of thumb, that it tends to make cracks so quite big cracks different to other rots you’d see that would make much smaller cracks.

And you get the kind of white fluff here, you can see it’s a bowed a floorboard there some shrinkage, and then above the floor you could see his first sign really of the uh, the skirting board starting to bend and the cause for this particular outbreak is yet to be discovered. What I have noticed in my initial findings just lifting a board here is you’ve got this joist which has got some dry rot in it it’s touching actually this uh this is part of the party wall here with a load of debris behind it and it does come up dry. I’m actually on the moisture meter at the moment I suspect this is a dormant dry rot outbreak there’s no current moisture found.

But I’m going to continue to have a look what I’m going to do is lift this board here as I want to see if this kind of warm situation continues along and have a look at the joists under there because if we zoom out you can actually see this is the worst. Well the main affected area which is there so I’m just going to put my tool across here cut this board and have a look.

Right, so that’s the board cut. I think we’ll just lift up pretty easy okay so first time seeing this but again you can see that kind of one inch roughly cube as I say it’s a rule of thumb don’t get a tape measure out or anything it’s just a rough idea and again this joist here is against this wall section. I can feel some rot coming down from behind that skirting. Next step I’m going to pop off the skirting board I think.

So here you go cut the skirting board because it was a bit stuck pulled that off there you go. You can see the dry rot fungus behind the wall sorry behind the skirting on the wall that runs all the way along. There we’ve got this baton that was there completely gone all this stuff gone and it’s certainly in the wall. The question is it active or not? I don’t think it is to be honest I put the moisture meter on. I know these are just a guide but what it will tell me is if the walls are wet, they’re very good at finding drywalls put it on this the moisture meter shows pretty clearly that wall is dry. There’s a bit of moisture there10%. It’s pretty low moisture it’s not really finding much and to touch there’s no moisture there at all that’s dry as a bone, so the walls are pretty dry if we’re going up this wall I’m really not picking anything off little hints around but nothing particularly major considering this isn’t an empty property being renovated soon heating’s been off for a while.

There’s a massive crack in the ceiling we’re expecting that there’s going to be some sort of elevated reading certainly on the wall. The timbers themselves the joists you know that’s an absolute reading in timber so that’s 9.5%. Well over 20% would be a concern for dry rot. Ten percent. Pretty good.

All right, so I’ve been looking at the dry rot upstairs I’ve come downstairs and I’m looking around at the boards and I’ve seen this on the floorboard. And it could be scuffing it could be some old sort of damage but given the driver upstairs I wanted to take a closer look. I’m looking through the gap you can actually see a kind of fluff going through there and again through this gap here and that kind of got an alarm bells ringing so I’ve just lifted one board it was already broken and damaged so that was easy to lift putting my hand underneath. Worryingly I can feel dry rot there, I can feel something under it, so I’m just going to lift one of these boards.

The board is cut so let’s lift it up. Oh dear, oh there’s some dry rot there underneath. Oh my god, oh yeah, a good bit of dry rot there.  I’m going to have to put the light on to have a look down the rest of there the cause of that dry rot which we found inside does look to be high ground levels there’s the window in there we’ve got flower bed here loads of strawberries this side is massively overgrown the joists actually terminate right at the base of this wall and a part under the ground. If you look at the base of the wall we’ve got the flower beds going right up to it without that render protection so there’s something here you can see a hole in the wall there yeah at the base letting rain water penetrate through onto those joists.”

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