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If you're been through dry rot (no pun intended!) please take a look here!

(6 Posts)
toddlerhip Tue 29-Jul-08 22:00:00

Oh god, we have dry rot in one corner of a room. At first inspection timber people say it has infected the floorboards, skirting and the floor joist in that area. Wont know more until they expose a metre square in all directions. The ceiling (and cornicing) in the room below has to come down and almost definitely the wooden window sill in that room which is next to the upstairs floor joist.

The affected area has a cut in the skirting and the floorboards in that corner have been replaced so possibly previous work there. Although the previous owner (eventually) provided guarantees for woodworm, we don't have anything for dry rot. Have asked dh to go back to him to check.

Our outstanding roofer says the cause is coming from the neighbour (an architect!) whose gutters are blocked and the water is pooling in the wall exactly behind where we have the problem. Neighbour wont let the dry rot people in to check from his side so if we get any guarantee from whoever does the work it won't be a full one. Neighbour does not maintain house very well.

Also, have just discovered the house insurance dh took out excludes dry rot and damp.

We also have damp (coming in from outside) in other parts of the building (all on horrid neighbour's side) some of which we know is caused by them, some we're not sure. No damp at all on the side bordering nice neighbours with immaculate, well maintained house.

I am getting more quotes this week and am going to ask for the whole house to be checked.

Anyone been through this and got any tips? Are old houses (this is georgian) really worth keeping?

midnightexpress Tue 29-Jul-08 22:07:49

Not once but twice toddlerhip! We had a tenement flat and had dry rot that ran right through the building (four flats). In the end it wasn't quite as horrific as we had thought it might be and they made a pretty good job of sorting it out - the only problem was that they had to replace floorboards (lovely old wooden ones) with new ones and cut a square out to do so, which was a bit of an eyesore (not too bad after a bit of woodstain). A few months later our downstairs neighbour's kitchen ceiling collapsed and we discovered yet more dry rot and had to have the wall down between the kitchen and bathroom. This time it was covered by the buildings insurance (not quite sure why the first lot wasn't). It's actually very common in Glasgow buildings apparently, because there's so much rain and the Victorian building sweren't built with a cavity.

So, it is possible to get buildings insurance to cover it (though this is not much use to you now I don't suppose, but it may be helpful in future), and it may not be quite as ghastly as you think.

I would definitely see if you can do anything (legally I mean) about the neighbour's lack of co-operation - there's not much point paying thousands to get it fixed if it's just going to come back again because of his neglect.

Oh, and we sold the flat in less than a week a few months ago, btw, even though the buyers knew about the work that had been done.

toddlerhip Tue 29-Jul-08 22:29:12

THanks midnight express. Anything i should ask them / make sure they do / don't do??

toddlerhip Tue 29-Jul-08 22:31:08

If if was in 4 inhabited flats how come it took so long to find / treat since it started?

midnightexpress Wed 30-Jul-08 10:52:08

Our neighbour only discovered it when he stripped back some wood to redecorate. Not sure why no-one else had noticed it - we certainly didn't. One of the companies who quoted reckoned that it was actually dormant and had been there for years.

As for what you should check, the one thing I'd recommend is getting them to ensure that they replace like with like as far as possible, if, for example you have plaster cornicing, which would have to come down, or floorboards which need to come out - as I said earlier, the company put down new boards (which they probably have to because they treat them with horrid chemicals first) but because they were wider than the original ones, they had to cut a square out, rather than lay them with the old ones, iyswim, so it looked really horrible.

And don't get a ropey plumber to fit your shower back in like we did - we were in rented accommodation and he didn't turn up to do the job as promised - 23rd December with two kids under 3. But we all survived grin.

toddlerhip Wed 30-Jul-08 23:46:42

Great tips, thank you! So glad you mentioned about the floorboards. we are going to have to chuck the carpet and i would like to expose the floors so that is really good to know.

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