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Dry Rot in London

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damp corner

Condensation damp in a built in wardrobe

Last week I was instructed to inspect some damp in an apartment within a converted Victorian building. The damp was in fact condensation within a built in wardrobe.

Just 2 meters away I noticed tell-tale cracking to a skirting board. The occupants informed me that this was related to a leak from the adjacent shower cubicle some time ago and was now resolved. I removed a small section of decayed timber and found the thriving mycelial growth of Dry Rot in London.

serpula lacrymans

dry rot mycelial growth


Although the extent of growth didn’t allow definite identification I believe this is dry rot (serpula lacrymans) as a result of cracks across the grain and white fluffy mycelial growth with a pink/grey tinge.

Traditional treatment of dry rot involves stripping all timber within a 1 meter radius of any evidence of fungal growth. This is clearly very disruptive and in this situation would result in the expense of extensive replacement of flooring as well as a new bathroom suite.

There are alternative approaches. In this case a repair to the tile grout in the shower cubicle would prevent the moist environment needed for the fungus to grow; however, the fungus can remain dormant for as long as twenty years.


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