It is always best to consult a professional when identifying any type of Rot. The similarity between Dry and Wet Rot make the diagnosis difficult and mistakes can cost you time and money.
Both Rots affect areas that are not easily accessible nor visible at all, like under flooring, inside-walls or behind stairs, and when the rot is finally in sight the hidden damage might be extensive indeed.
What can you do as a homeowner to identify the Wet Rot? Symptoms to keep in mind.
Timber will have a brittle texture
Due to the high levels of moisture, wood will begin to breakdown causing a weakened structure and a sponge like texture and be a darker colour to the original timber.
It might start with hardly noticeable changes, like few extra squeaks of your panels or a certain softness under your feet in some regions of your floor. The surface might looks as good as ever, but those are the little signs of are signalling the weakening of the construction underneath, that will increase in time, and potentially turn dangerous, if not addressed properly.
Cracking of the timber
If you’re hearing those, don’t dismiss them as just the sound of your building ageing. The cracking timber could be the symptom of something far more serious. Wet Rot, although more benign, than Dry Rot, can also damage timber’s structural strength.
Presence of a damp smell
The damp and fungal smell is your first indication that something might be amiss/going on. When the Wet Rot is still hidden from sight, this might be your only sign of trouble. Smell can coincide with the air itself feeling damp and humid due to spreading water leakages.
Wet Rot in its advanced stage produces so called mycelium growth that may be white or brown in colour and will slowly cover the wood in a kind of web. Wet Rot mycelium spreads much slower than the Dry Rot one, and it will not attack other materials further away from the wood. Wet Rot likes to remain close to it’s main source of food which is the wet timber.