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Dry rot - What do I do?

(23 Posts)
Foxy85 Fri 02-Oct-20 11:41:43

We've had our survey report back and it mentioned the possibility of dry rot or beetle infestation in the basement. Its a Victorian property.

"The survey was severely restricted by the presence of floor coverings, fittings and furnishings. Where a limited inspection was possible, we confirm that we found active beetle infestation, dry rot, or other significant timber defects, however there were areas of inaccessible timbers and therefore we cannot confirm categorically"

When I asked him to clarify he said
"I inspected within the cellar where accessible however, there was a large amount of stored belongings in place which significantly impeded access (see attached photos) and hence for this reason this was mentioned in the report"

Would this be something that worried you? I know surveyors have to cover their backs. Who do I get to look at this? a Timber specialist?

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
FlouncingBabooshka Fri 02-Oct-20 11:51:45

Yes, this would worry me Foxy.

Surveyors always point out that the inspection was limited due to floor coverings, stored possessions etc which makes it impossible to rule out certain things. However, in your case he’s not saying he can’t rule it out - he’s actually stated dry rot and beetle infestation are present - it’s just the extent of the problem he can’t establish. I’d advise speaking to him again to ascertain exactly what steps you should be taking next. I asked our surveyor ‘if you were buying this house what would you do?’.

If I were you I’d certainly want further specialist investigation. As far as I’m aware dry rot is pretty serious and at the very least you need assurance it can be rectified easily and an idea of costs.

FlouncingBabooshka Fri 02-Oct-20 11:55:25

Sorry, meant to say, Rentokil will deal with dry rot or you’ll be able to find a local specialist via google.

Hope it turns out not to be a major problem OP.

Seeingadistance Fri 02-Oct-20 11:55:29

Dry rot is an absolute nightmare.

I’d run away from this one.

Fightthebear Fri 02-Oct-20 11:58:50

Dry rot is serious because it is a fungus which can spread through all the timber in a house. It can pass through brick. All diseased timbers need to be treated and probably removed and replaced.

Insurance may not cover it as they may claim it’s down to poor maintenance, ie damp not being dealt with and the fungus building up on damp wood.

You will need a specialist dry rot report with proper access. If you can’t get that I personally would walk away.

Zebrahooves Fri 02-Oct-20 11:59:53

I would be tempted to run away from this one. I would also think he was hiding the extent of it under his possessions.

S00LA Fri 02-Oct-20 12:00:19

Is this your house that you already own?

Or one you are thinking of buying ?

Foxy85 Fri 02-Oct-20 12:07:30

Thanks everyone. Its one we're thinking of buying. Will get on to some companies today.

OP’s posts: |
Fightthebear Fri 02-Oct-20 12:08:19

I haven’t used rentokil but their page spells out the survey and treatment steps pretty clearly:-

Reedwarbler Fri 02-Oct-20 12:36:28

Not only could these problems be very expensive to fix, the fixing of them will possibly cause untold upheaval for quite a long time. So even if the vendor offers to reduce the price to cover the repair costs, that will only be the start of your 'house upside down' hell. Is the house really worth that much trouble?
If it were me, I would walk away.

Sunflowergirl1 Fri 02-Oct-20 12:51:18

I wouldn't touch this house especially when you cannot quantify the extent. Dry rot is extremely serious and very expensive to rectify

FrogFairy Fri 02-Oct-20 15:21:15

I would walk away from this house.

I say this as someone who bought a house that had dry rot.

coldgraybrix Fri 02-Oct-20 15:33:11

Give this one a really wide berth.

S00LA Fri 02-Oct-20 15:33:25

I agree, walk away.

Ghislainedefeligonde Fri 02-Oct-20 16:51:00

Hang on, surely the survey states beetle and dry Rot or other timber prob (eg wet rot) doesn’t it? You really need clarity about whether it’s dry rot or not before you can make a decision. If it is dry rot then I’d walk away but wet rot is manageable

friendlycat Fri 02-Oct-20 17:26:05

Dry rot is a nightmare and I would definitely walk away.

catwithflowers Fri 02-Oct-20 19:28:53

Foxy we discovered dry rot in our property (surveyors hadn't picked it up which is a separate issue 😬🤷‍♀️) and it cost £20,000 to treat. I would walk away.

Tiddlybibblesworth Fri 02-Oct-20 20:44:16

That is a standard all encompassing blanket statement. I read that as him finding something untoward; not every issue he has mentioned. His clarification was unhelpful and actually even more vague than the original comment. I would personally go back to him again and spell it out very clearly:

What signs of dry rot did you see?

What signs of active infestation did you note?

When you say other timber defects can you please expand on this?

Dry rot should be avoided but it’s visual and if he saw signs of it he should have pictures. Same with beetle activity. So before you do anything drastic I’d want him to be much more specific as to his concerns.

Foxy85 Mon 05-Oct-20 12:54:20

Thanks for the responses. I went back to the surveyor and it was actually a typo he meant to say 'we found no evidence'. Panic over!

OP’s posts: |
PigletJohn Mon 05-Oct-20 15:57:30


Fightthebear Tue 06-Oct-20 18:15:14

grin this has given me my best laugh of the day. Ffs indeed!

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 06-Oct-20 18:29:04

I grew up in a house with dry rot in the cellar. We were practically always needing to call specialists in to treat or replace timber - until dad could afford to have the whole thing damp proofed and replaced in one go.

mumsy27 Tue 06-Oct-20 23:31:57

for @foxy85 sake smile

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