A Simple Guide for Buying or Selling a House with Dry Rot

Guide for Buying or Selling a House with Dry Rot

Buying or selling a house with dry rot can be a big challenge for both the buyer and seller. In comparison to wet rot, dry rot is more dangerous. It is a type of fungi that spreads rapidly without showing any signs of damage.

If you are trying to sell a house with dry rot, it would be a smarter idea to treat dry rot to a certain level at least, before you put up the house for sale. If you live in a place where dry rot is a common problem, it is highly advised that you get your home inspected professionally before putting it up for sale.

You might think that it is not essential to treat dry rot before selling the house; however, it can leave a significant impact on its selling price. If a buyer detects dry rot, you will likely get a lower price for your house in comparison to the amount you pay for treatment. If dry rot is mostly on the surface of the wood and has not penetrated deep into the wood or not caused any structural damage to the house, then chances are that you will have to pay less for treatment.

Sometimes, dry rot treatment can be simple as cleaning rot where you only need wood treatment along with a fresh coat of wood paint. In such a case, you would only spend a few hundred pounds maybe, but you will probably gain thousands of pounds on your property’s value.

As a buyer, you would have to keep your eyes open and be well aware of how you should inspect dry rot. You might not take dry rot seriously before purchasing the house, but after purchasing, it would be on your shoulders solely to treat dry rot if you do not want to deal with further structural damage.

A few signs that might help you detect dry rot:

  • Pungent smell
  • Puckered wood or bumpy wood
  • Soft or spongy wood
  • Wood cracks
  • Paint cracks or chipping
  • Wood discoloration

If you see any of these signs, make sure that you inspect it further by poking the wood with a screwdriver or a knife.

However, if you are purchasing a house where dry rot is a common problem, it is advised that you take a professional with you so that there is no chance of missing any sign of dry rot. An expert will not only investigate dry rot, but he/she will also tell you about the scale of damage. Getting a professional’s help is a smarter idea than trying to investigate dry rot by yourself because detecting it requires experience.

In case you have already bought a home, and found dry rot in it, then hiring a professional to investigate dry rot should be your top priority. After investigation, make sure that you get dry rot treated at earliest to stop it from spreading and causing devastating damages to property.


Cellar Conversion Costs

Cost Considerations You Should Keep In Mind Before Converting Your Basement or Cellar

You may have seen some fantastic basement or cellar conversions around in your friend’s home or on the internet, and you may be tempted to jump in headfirst into a basement conversion project in your own home, then you must curb your enthusiasm and proceed with caution.

Like all building projects, cellar conversions and installations need money and planning because costs quickly pile up and get out of hand, if you are unprepared.

The advantages of installing a cellar or a cellar conversion are numerous. One of the most significant rewards is the value that a cellar conversion can add to your property. Additionally, a cellar is extra space that you can use for leisure, storage, as a spare bedroom or even an annexe.

Following are some significant considerations that should be kept in mind before you start with cellar conversions:

Size and Plan for the Area

A major price-deciding factor is the size of your property and the size of the cellar conversion.  Converting an existing cellar will cost less than installing a new one which requires digging and underpinning a new cellar can cost anywhere from £2,000 to £3,000 per m²per.

Lowering the floor level and underpinning will cost up to £2,000 per m². Plaster and renovations will cost between £700 and £1500 per m².

Your plan for an area will also have a direct impact on the cost of the cellar conversion. Are you setting up a bathroom? If yes, then it will require plumbing and drainage. Will you have a swimming pool in the cellar? If yes, then you will need to increase the budget for damp proofing.

Lighting and the addition of proper ventilation will increase the cost significantly.

Planning Permission and Regulation Fees

If you are doing any building or conversions in your house, you have to be a 100% sure that they abide by your local building regulation, so before you proceed, check with the local council or LPA. It is likely that you will need to get permission before you start and submit your building plan for approval. All this will add to the cost of your cellar conversions.

Additional Jobs

Your cellar conversion may result in a few extra jobs that need to be paid for including diverting plumbing pipes, moving the boiler, additional waterproofing, removing excavated materials, and more jobs. Thus, you should be prepared to add these into your budget.

Engineer and Contractor Fees

You will have to pay the engineer and the professionals for their work. Some companies will provide end-to-end services. Otherwise, you will have to hire a different professional for different jobs. Ask for no-obligation quotes to get an idea of the costs before you settle on a service for cellar conversions.

Research and preparations will help you evade the undesirable scenario of leaving the conversion half done. After all, no one wants a half dug up cellar or basement with no more money to complete the job.


rotten old wooden window frame

How to Inspect Your Windows and Doors for Wood Rot

Guide to Inspecting Your Windows and Doors for Wood Rot

Wood rot initially might not appear to be a big problem. It may often go completely obscure. Essentially, dry wood rot is a fungus that spreads and grows in the moist areas within the wood. Windows and doors are at high risk of wood rot. Therefore, you would have to keep an eye on every change in your windows and doors.

Dry rot is more dangerous than wet rot. The sooner you will detect dry rot in your windows and doors; more are the chances that you will be able to fix the problem without spending a ton of money. However, if you delay the wood rot inspection and detect it when it is too late, then you would be left with no other choice but to replace the wood. In the worst case, the dry wood rot can cause structural damage to your home.

To stay on the safe side, inspecting dry wood rot should be on your to-do list regularly; especially for the parts of the house that are exposed to water or receives the most rainfall. Older homes are at a higher risk of dry wood rot as compared to homes built within two years. If you detect dry wood rot, fixing it should be on top of your to-do list because you should never delay its treatment on your windows and doors.

There are a few signs that might help you detect wood rot:

Wood Feels Soft to Touch:

The wood should never feel soft! If your wood feels soft or spongy, you should immediately check for dry rot.

Discolouration:

If you see that colour of your window or door is changing, then it might be an indicator of dry rot. If your wood is painted, you might see signs like paint chipping or crackers before wood discolouration is apparent.

Wood Starts To Pucker Or Crack:

Cracks or splitting can occur due to several reasons; however, if your window or door has started to pucker or bump, then it is a clear sign of dry rot.

Dry Rot Smell:

If your windows and/or doors have dry rot, it might emit a musty, fungal and damp smell. The smell does not indicate the intensity/level of dry rot; however, it plays a crucial role in detecting dry rot at an early stage.

If you inspect any of these signs, you should contact a professional to investigate the damage and get help to resolve the problem. However, you can start the inspection yourself by poking the wood with a knife or a screwdriver. If the wood has dry rot, you will be able to poke a hole in wood easily. Damp rot signs are usually more visible; thus, it is possible to take care of it and fix it on time. Whereas, dry rot acts more like a silent killer for wood.


types of damp

Which Kind of Damp is Affecting my Home?

Which Kind of Damp is Affecting my Home?

Damp in homes is a common problem that most of us come across at one time or another. Although, it may not seem like a big problem at first, damp in its various forms can wreak havoc if you do not take proactive measures.

Damp can lead to problems that can jeopardize the structural integrity of your home, and it can cause serious health problems. Most of us are aware that there are many types of damp. However, differentiating between them can be often tricky. The initial step of treating or preventing damp is to identify the kind of damp that is affecting your home.

Condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp are the three main types of damp in residential properties, and each requires different treatment. Let’s discuss each type in more detail:

Condensation

Condensation is the most common type of damp found in homes, and it occurs when hot air with high humidity levels cools down on the walls and other surfaces of the house. You can easily find condensation in rooms during winters like the kitchen and bathroom where the air has a lot of moisture and walls are generally cooler than the inside of the house.

The common symptoms of condensation are visible water droplets on windows, door glass, and walls. Also, an unpleasant moldy smell and dark mold can grow on the glass, especially on windows.

Poor ventilation and high humidity levels are significant condensation causes in homes. To solve this issue, you must install artificial systems to increase ventilation and decrease the moisture in the air. If condensation is left untreated, it can result in the growth of mold that destroys paint, plaster and wooden structures.

Penetrating Damp

Penetrative damp may become evident during and after heavy rainfall because it occurs due to moisture penetrating the walls through cracks or leaks in the wall, roof, faulty plumbing or guttering.

The signs of penetrating damp include dark patches on walls and roof that darken after rain or water exposure. These dark patches can expand horizontally.

Damp is common in older buildings as the modern style of wall insulation prevents moisture from getting insignificantly. However, if you have leaking pipes in sinks, then a newly built home can face this problem too.

Rising Damp

As the name suggests, rising damp rises from the ground and spreads up to the walls because it is caused by moisture that moves up from the floor through the walls. Rising damp occurs when the ground outside your home has poor drainage or retains too much moisture.

You can identify rising damp by the dark, wet marks that rise up the wall, damaging wall paint and leaving white powdery salt-like substance from the water. Rising damp starts from the ground and thus damages floors.

Modern building regulations require buildings to install damp proof course and damp proof membranes into the wall and floors, preventing damp significantly. The damp proof course is a plastic or bitumen felt strip that is built into the walls, whereas damp proof membrane is laid underneath the floor and is made out of waterproof material.


rotten old wooden window frame

Your Essential Guide To Dry Rot Prevention

Essential Guide To Preventing Dry Rot

Almost everyone has heard of the saying “Prevention is better than cure,”. However, in the case of dry rot, which is one of the top destroyers of wood, this saying fits well.

Wise homeowners are proactive about their approach towards dry rot infestation, and you should be too! Unfortunately, dry rot can set in from very little damp in wood. However, if you are vigilant, you can prevent dry rot in your home in the first place.

What Is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is a menace that destroys the wood from the inside out. In essence, dry rot is a fungus that causes the wood to lose its stiffness and structural integrity, leaving it weak and rotted. Despite its name, dry rot needs moisture to start.

According to the experts, houses with poor ventilation and high humidity or moisture are often affected by it. Once the dry rot fungus infests wood, it requires little to no water or moisture to spread, and then, it spreads quickly throughout wooden structures. Unfortunately, most people are unable to identify the signs of dry rot infestation. However, you can take measures to prevent it from getting a foothold.

How To Prevent Dry Rot?

As explained earlier, homes with high levels of humidity and poor airflow are prone to dry rot. Therefore, to prevent dry rot from setting in, here are a few guidelines:

Inspect Your Roof for Leaks and Repair Them

Look at your roof from the inside and the outside. If you wish to be thorough, look for leaks and repair them immediately because moisture and water can get in from even the smallest of leaks, which can then end encouraging dry rot.

Inspect the Ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential to keep wood dry and prevent air from getting too damp. Thus, you can check the ventilation in your home to make sure all areas are adequately ventilated. Crawl spaces and the attic are usually the poorly ventilated areas in a property. Therefore, pay attention to them and make adjustments where necessary.

Inspect the Insulation

Poor insulation, as well as the incorrect installation of insulation,  can lead to conditions that cause dry rot. Make sure that your home is adequately insulated, especially the attic floor and walls.

Inspect The Plumbing

A leaking pipe from poor plumbing can result in water exposure where you don’t want it. Make sure that all the plumbing work in your home is done properly and there are no hidden leaks causing trouble. Moreover, repair all leaks immediately

Dry Out Damp Wood

If for some reason, the wood structures of your house get wet, then make sure you dry out the area thoroughly.

How To Prevent Dry Rot From Spreading?

If you have identified that dry rot has started they you have to be quick to stop it in its tracks to prevent it from spreading and wreaking havoc.

Applying a fungicide with borate to kill fungus is one of the best ways to prevent dry rot. However, this solution will only prove to be useful if the dry rot issue is not in an advanced stage; otherwise, you will have to replace wood to stop dry rot from spreading. You can call in a professional who can give expert advice on how you can treat the dry rot properly.