How to Sell a House With Dry Rot

If you are looking to either sell a property that has dry rot, you need to investigate the problem as soon as you spot it.  It needs immediate treatment to minimise structural damage to the property.

What is dry rot?

Dry rot, otherwise known as ‘Serpula Lacrymans’, is a destructive wood-rotting fungus that attacks damp timber in a house. The optimum temperature for dry rot to grow is at 22ºC, with the maximum temperature being 26 ºC. Dry rot can spread on to materials ranging from carpets to living room furniture. 

What causes dry rot?

One of the root causes of dry rot is dampness. There are several types of dampness that can cause dry rot, but one of the main causes is penetrating damp. Heavy rainfall can seep into the walls, roof or foundations of the property if you have damaged guttering, downspouts or rainwater gullies.

How to know if your house has dry rot

Dry rot is quite distinctive compared to other types of rot and has several key characteristics.

Fluffy white growth

Mycelium is a white/grey cotton wool-like substance and is normally present on the timbers.

Damp musty odour

Dry rot has a very strong smell which is also a key indicator that it’s making its mark on your property. The rotting fungus has a distinctive damp, musty odour which gets stronger as the dry rot spreads.

Dry cracked timbers

The damaged timber will appear to be dried out and the wood will be broken up through cuboidal cracking. The wood also tends to darken as the dry rot attack worsens.

Dry rot in a house
This homeowner suffered extensive dry rot in the roof

Rotten roof timbers

If dry rot attacks your roof, the problem can prove extremely cost and prevent you selling your house. The property would be deemed unmortgageable due to the fact people are unable to live in it without extensive repairs.

What is the difference between wet and dry rot?

Homeowners often get confused between wet rot and dry rot, as they both leave a similar trail. So, what is the difference between wet and dry rot? 

Dry rot is the most serious form of fungus decay in a building; it spreads onto and destroys much of the timber. Conversely, wet rot fungus occurs more frequently, but is less serious. Decay is usually confined to where the timber becomes and stays wet.

It is vitally important to get a dry rot specialist to inspect the damage as soon as possible to correctly identify the source and type of fungus.  They can also compile a plan to treat the affected area.  Often recommended treatment needed is to replace floorboards and the joists, depending on severity of damage caused.

How does dry rot affect the sale of a property?

If you’re getting ready to sell a house affected with dry rot, you should be aware this will affect any offer you receive and will significantly reduce the eventual selling price of your house. By law, you have to be honest in all property details and advertisements.  The potential buyer won’t be too happy if they find out they’ve just found a new home that has lots of nasty smelly dry rot. 

Any potential buyer will be unlikely to be able secure the necessary mortgage on a property in this condition, as there is no easy way to check if all the dry rot has been treated successfully.  This leaves you looking for a way to sell an unmortgageable property, quickly.

How do you stop the rot progressing?

As soon as the problem is uncovered, it is vital to inspect the building internally and externally for signs of disrepair. You may find broken guttering, damaged drainpipes and soil pipes, missing roof files, leaking appliances or subsiding foundations are the cause.  A dry rot specialist can then advise you on removing the damaged areas and stopping the rot from progressing.

Is it easy to treat the rotten timbers?

Frustratingly, dry rot can accumulate following long-term neglect or maintenance issues such as poor drainage or leaks. Water ingress from multiple sources is not always simple to identify, so by the time the rot is noticed, it has usually been able to destroy the structural integrity of key timbers in the building. Treating them isn’t enough.  They have to be removed and replaced.

Damp specialists can strip out the affected materials and treat the infestation with professional quality fungicides. Major renovations are usually necessary, and of course, costly.

Can I sell my rotten property for cash?

Can I sell my rotten property for cash? You might think we wouldn’t want your rotting property… but we don’t mind at all! We are experts in buying properties in any awful condition you can imagine. We will always buy the plot of land or take on the refurbishment. We give you an instant cash offer so you can just move on with your life and stop worrying about the damage.

Here at Property Saviour, we guide you through the selling process and continue to stay in touch day to day. We have strong values – firmly believing that selling a property should be hassle-free and efficient.  We aim to get you the best price possible.

If you know someone who’s dealing with dry rot and needs a quick solution, share this post with them and help ease their minds. There is a solution to dry rot – and we are the best people to find it for you.

house in bad condition?

If you need to sell a property with dry rot, check out our happy clients above and get in touch for a free valuation.

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