Damp and Timber Survey

Posted: 09th February,2021

Damp and Timber Surveys

A damp and timber survey is usually undertaken before purchasing a property in order to ascertain whether or not the property has any timber or damp issues within it. Within a timber survey a surveyor will usually look for problems such as: timber rot, dry rot, wet rot and timber infestation. Damp and timber surveys can also be undertaken for timber framed structures, such as a barn etc. 

What does a timber survey look like?

Take a look at this interesting oak framed pergola. This was a timber survey that was recently carried out for a new client, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. During this survey the surveyors were asked to assess the level of deterioration of the pergola. Our surveyors ascertained that the pergola was suffering from severe deterioration because the frame was not treated to protect against deterioration, as well as there being no membrane installed between the post and the concrete slab plinth. 



In terms of how long a timber survey takes, it is dependent on the condition of the timber being surveyed. However here at Alpine Surveys we will complete the survey and provide you with an in-depth, thorough and comprehensive report, including all of our findings and recommendations within 48 hours of the survey’s completion. 

Wet Rot-

Wet Rot is a fungus that develops in areas of timber saturation. It is common in areas where water leaks have occurred and are left undiagnosed or external timbers that are deteriorating and are exposed to rain. Alpine Surveys will investigate the reason for the rot occurring and will recommend remedial works in order to correct the deterioration as well as advising you on what is required to stop it from returning. 

How to look for wet rot on timber:

  • Darkened timber (darkened than surrounding timber). 
  • Soft and spongy timber.
  • Cracked appearance that may crumble when dry.
  • Localised fungus growth.
  • A damp, musty small.

Dry Rot-

Dry Rot is caused by fungal spores landing on timber and taking root. However, if the timber is not suitably moist, the fungus cannot develop and grow. Therefore, the correct diagnosis should be to determine why the timber has become suitable and why the rot is spreading. When dry rot begins to develop, grey strands spread across the timber, draining the moisture from it, drying the timber out and making it completely useless. The fungus will multiply until the grey strands become what appears to look like cotton wool, and in turn, turn into a brown coloured pancake shaped fungal body which emits thousands of destructive spores into the air. Alpine Surveys will undertake the correct survey in order to diagnose the reason why the Dry Rot has developed and provide the correct recommendations to eradicate it.  

How to look for dry rot on timber:

  • Damaged or decaying timber.
  • Damp or musty smell.
  • Deep cracks in timber grain. 
  • Concentrated patches of orange-brown spore dust.
  • Grey strands on timber.


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