3 Reasons Dry Rot Is So Common in the UK

Timber Rot Specialist

If you have ever wondered just how prevalent dry rot is in the UK, a quick perusal of the news headlines using your favourite internet search engine should do the trick. A search conducted prior to writing this post uncovered a long list of stories relating to buildings across the country. There were stories of dry rot from Bolton, Perth, Great Bircham, and Burton – and that was just the first page of results.

So, what is it about the UK that makes dry rot so prevalent here? Are we doing something wrong? More importantly, can we do anything to prevent dry rot in the future?

The bad news about dry rot is that it is the result of a natural phenomenon. Dry rot starts as a mould spore carried by the wind. Normally, the spores that find their way to timber die off because the right environmental conditions for growth are not present. But when conditions are right, the spores begin to grow and multiply rapidly. They gradually eat away at affected timbers, creating a potentially dangerous situation.

Here are three reasons dry rot is so common here in the UK:

1. Moisture and Humidity

The term 'dry rot' is somewhat of a misnomer in that the spores that cause it need a certain amount of moisture in order to thrive. The problem is called dry rot because of the dry, orange-coloured powder the mould leaves behind as it feeds on wood. Nonetheless, the mould cannot thrive if adequate moisture is not present.

Unfortunately, a lack of moisture is usually not a problem here. The UK is known for being cool and damp more often than not, offering the mould spores just what they need to get started.

2. Old Timbers

While dry rot can attack timbers of any age, old timbers are more prone to the condition. And if we know anything about buildings in this country, we know that there are plenty of them in excess of 100 years old throughout both our cities and the countryside. It is no secret that most of the dry rot cases we see in the UK are found in older buildings – which leads us to the third and final reason: poor ventilation.

3. Poor Ventilation

A modern structure with proper ventilation is a lot less likely to allow the promotion of dry rot because humidity is kept under control. The same cannot be said with older buildings. Where there is a lack of proper ventilation, interior humidity levels can remain consistently high for years on end. This makes for a perfect environment for dry rot, should mould spores find their way indoors.

Dry rot is a serious problem that needs to be corrected by professionals. However, it is not the end of the world. Dry rot can be treated and prevented further by the fully trained and licenced technicians at Thames Valley Timber Treatment. We are standing by to assist you if necessary.