Ensure that all external timber frames are adequately painted to protect the timber from frontal ingress of water.
Be aware of any damp walls and address the problem, it could be a missing/damaged damp proof course (dpc), a bridged dpc or a bridged cavity. If necessary seek expert advice as the symptom may be just a sign of a bigger problem.
Make sure that any soil and other debris is cleared away from around the bottom of timber frames.
Check the roof space for the ingress of water, you may not see daylight through a hole in the roof, the water could be running down the underfelt behind the tiles onto timber some distance away from the hole. When it is raining, go into the roof with a torch, the shining of water on a timber or felt normally stand out very easily.
Other favoured places for wet rot are under the kitchen sink, bath, shower, washing basins, toilet and behind the washing machine etc.; all areas where a small leak from either a water supply or drain could go unnoticed for a long time but where timber could become saturated with water.
- First of all treat any structural problem, there is no point in repairing the damage to the timber if it is going to reappear.
- If wet rot occurs in structural timbers (such as roof trusses, floor joists), expert advice should be sought as the implication for structural integrity must be established.
- In other areas, the rotten timbers should be removed and replaced; if the damaged area is fairly small, it can be cut away and a new piece of timber joined to that remaining. If the damage is confined to a very small area, an epoxy based repair kit can be used to fill the damaged area once it has been cut back to sound timber and the new surface of the wood treated with a suitable primer. Preservative tablets are available which are inserted into the timber adjacent to the repaired area to protect the timber ‘from within’. If there is any doubt that the structural problem has been eliminated, the new and adjoining timber should be treated with a proprietary wet rot treatment before redecorating.
- After repair, external timbers should be protected with adequate coats of paint or some other suitable timber treatment/preservative.