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Help! Is this dry rot? If so, what do I need to do?

(9 Posts)
EdithWeston Tue 26-Jul-11 17:18:55

The paint on one kitchen window frame has rapidly started to buckle, and I noticed a brown dust on one corner of the sill when we got back from holiday. (In case it's spores, I haven't tried to clean it up yet).

I've googled dry rot, and it could be it (can't see any fungus, but could be behind the paint) - leaking down pipe on that wall was repaired a few weeks ago: could removal of moisture have caused fungus to stress and produce spores? I'm wary of picking at it as I don't want to make anything spread. Also, next door have just had work done (extension, knocking down old wall and rebuilding new wall within 3 feet of this window) - could it be connected?

Does this sound like dry rot? What else could it be?

If dry rot - who do I need to call in? Or should I contact insurers (in which case, I suspect we get their preferred ones)?

What do they need to do to treat it?

Many thanks for any help!

lalalonglegs Tue 26-Jul-11 17:29:20

There's a bitter, sort of composty smell that you get if you have lots of dry rot (but one isolated window frame may not be enough to produce it). I don't think the work next door would have had an impact. It doesn't sound as if it has got a grip - I'd get the window replaced. I wouldn't worry too much about spores - I think the conditions have to be right for them to take off.

EdithWeston Tue 26-Jul-11 17:44:14

Thanks! The work next door was on my mind as it was recent, and I was wondering if the destructive bit might have released spores - but I suppose they're pretty ubiquitous in the atmosphere anyhow.

Do I need a dry rot specialist (and what sort of tradesman would that be?)

No smell - but there was one in a different part of the house near some leaky guttering (now fixed) - and that smell (which I thought was damp bricks) has gone since the leak was fixed and we've had a dry spell. But (you can see my pessimistic nature coming to the fore) does that mean that there could be lots of infected timber? (The two places are at opposite ends of the house).

Finally - how urgent is it? We've got some comings and goings planned over the school hols. Nearly all of that could be replanned without penalty, but it is of course easier to keep it together. But not at the price of the house rotting! Is it do now, do in the next 2-3 weeks, or do in next 1-2 months?

lalalonglegs Tue 26-Jul-11 19:12:40

I'm not an expert but I don't think a few weeks would make much difference (if you are ordering replacement wooden frame, it usually takes 4-6 weeks to manufacture anyway).

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 19:28:13

Bugger, bugger, bugger.

We've yet to have an expert in, but having tumbled to this as a possibility, I've now found more places which are suspect. It could be right up the back wall (every floor, in a column) and a separate patch at the front. Please let them not be connected!!!! Please let it not be as bad as I'm now fretting about!!!!!

If it's in a wall, what will need to be done?

This is going to be very disruptive, isn't it?

I hope to goodness the insurance will cover it.

lalalonglegs Thu 28-Jul-11 19:58:17

If I were you, I would get in a surveyor to look at the problem NOT a damp/rot specialist (who can be very dodgy) and s/he can tell you exactly what you've got - it may not even be dry rot - and how to treat it. It is sounding a bit more urgent sad.

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 20:18:28

sad indeed.

I'm hoping to get someone round next week, and take it from there.

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 20:37:12

Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger.

Dry rot not covered in the buildings insurance (very common exclusion, apparently). I could kill DH!

EdithWeston Fri 05-Aug-11 19:10:05

We've had Rentokil round who have confirmed dry rot, but nit given quotation yet. Do you happen to know if they are good on this - they appear to give a (fairly long) guarantee against recurrence (and at least they're a firm that I expect would continue to exist).

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