Dry Rot Smell

Does Dry Rot have a distinctive smell?

Property Repair Systems is OPEN FOR BUSINESS - 01626 872886 - Speak to real people about Dry Rot Smell

Click for Home Page





DRY ROT HAS A SMELL - does this confirm that it is the true Dry Rot fungus?

Summary: No - although Dry Rot has a damp, earthy, rotting soil smell, so do the Wet Rots in the right conditions. Timber is vulnerable to both Dry Rot and Wet Rots if the moisture content is sufficient - in typical softwoods, like Pine, the fungus needs at least 18% WME (Wood Moisture Equivalent reading on a calibrated Meter) to support Dry Rot, but 28% plus to support one of the many Wet Rots.

What makes more smell - Wet or Dry Rot?

Because Dry Rot can survive even when the moisture content is very low you cannot always smell Dry Rot. Wet Rots, on the other hand, need such a high moisture content to thrive that you are far more likely to be smelling them. The smell arises from the natural decay process of the timber itself, as it breaks down to become part of the forest floor soil. It is more obvious indoors simply because of the trapped air under floors and behind panels - the forest floor tends to be better ventilated than the average domestic living room floor, where the vital air bricks are likely to be filled with spider's webs or covered over by raised external ground levels.

Can anybody distinguish Dry Rot by its smell alone?

Yes, the Hutton and Rostrun Dry Rot dog certainly could! I have seen the demonstration myself and he found a tiny piece of Dry Rot hidden in one of our Sales Girl's shoes whilst she was walking around our Offices, when we were given a demonstration at Remtox Chemicals by Tim Hutton himself.

To cure Dry Rot see the products, check prices or place an Order

IT SMELLS, BUT IS IT REALLY DRY ROT - first identify the rot type in order to decide the extent of the treatment

1. Strands - fibres like small plant roots, dirty off-white to silver grey in colour.

2. Sheets - Mycelium - dirty off-white skin, can be tinged with yellow, occasionally found as billowing cushions of off-white growths.

3. Mushroom - Fruiting Body - this produces the Spores - rust red in colour, can spread around onto other surfaces, usually found as a flat body with red spores in the centre and an off-white rim.

Dry rot in a skirting board

Dry Rot - large splits, curvature and strands.

Dry rot Mycellium on wood - dirty, off white colour

Mycellium on wood - NOT brilliant white.

Amazing fruiting body of Dry Rot showing the rusty red spores

Dry Rot Sporophore - flat & red rust coloured.

IT STILL SMELLS, BUT ITS NOT DRY ROT - then it must be a Wet Rot - most commonly misidentified features

1. Coniophora puteana - the 'cellar fungus' - dark brown to black strands in fern-like patterns, olive brown fruiting body (rare).

2. Fibroporia vaillantii - white strands in fern like growths, white fruiting body with pores.

3. Asterostroma - brilliant white, fine strands, fruiting body has no pores, mycelium has tiny star structures, visible only under magnification.

Dark brown to black strands of Coniophora Puteana, looking like plant roots, fern like.

Wet rot - brown to black strands of Coniophora.

Brilliant white strands of Fibroporia on a joist.

Brilliant White strands and Mycellium of Fibroporia

Brilliant white skin of Fibroporia growing in very wet conditions.

Brilliant White strands and Mycellium of Fibroporia - both Wet Rots - NOT Dry Rot.

I HAVE IDENTIFIED DRY ROT - how do I use Boron treatment ?

The best, safest and most pleasant treatment to apply is Boracol 10 , a water based 'biostat' that has no adverse effect on non-wood boring insects or mammals (like Bats). This Boron Products is applied as two or more coats by brush or spray and soaks quickly into the timber. It is permanent and, unlike its main rivals, it has no vapour and no smell. It can only affect wood rotting fungi and wood boring insects, so Bats (a protected species) are not affected - their main food, the house fly, does not eat wood and so it never contains any preservative. Heavily infested areas of timber, and damp patches, should also have an application of Boron Ultra Gel, to reduce the risks of future rot and provide extra active ingredient. Permanently or seasonally damp wood needs injection with Boron Ultra Paste and the insertion of Boron Ultra Rods (for example, window frames, garden posts, door frames).

The so called 're-entry time', set by the HSE for every Pesticide, is only 48 hours, or until dry. Pets, birds and fish are not at risk from Boron-based preservatives when used as specified, but do NOT apply Permethrin based alternatives (found in most DIY stores) if you keep any pets, particularly fish - Permethrin is lethal to fish in minute quantities.


The photograph below shows untreated panels, on the left and treated panels on the right. The treated panels (in two columns) have been painted with Dry Rot Paint and show no signs of growth!

Anti Dry Rot Paint, showing the Building Research Establishment test panels - treated panels on the far right.

So, you can further reduce the risk of future Dry Rot attack by using this 'No Go Zone' special emulsion paint. It can be applied behind skirting boards, in window frame reveals and in joist sockets. The paint, which has been tested by BRE (Building Research Establishment - Government backed test Authority) prevents Dry Rot from passing across treated areas. No other treatment can currently offer this feature.

If you need any help with any type of Wood Treatment or identification of wood rotting fungi Property Repair Systems staff will be pleased to give you completely free, no obligation advice on 01626 872886 .


RING US FOR HELP TO IDENTIFY YOUR FUNGUS - 01626 872886 - Fungus Help Line

BORON GEL, PASTE, RODS - treatment to kill and prevent insect and Dry Rot attack

1. ECOBOR ULTRA GEL - Surface Applied Gel for Dry Rot

An active clear Boron based Gel ideal for end grain and bearing area treatment of beams and joists. Apply to surfaces that have been touched by or affected by Dry Rot.

Also useful for medium to heavy active infestations of insect attack and treatment of new timbers for use in vulnerable areas (e.g. skirting boards).

Boron Ultra Gel

Boron Gel - clear, no odour

Boron Gel brushes clear

Boron Ultra Gel in three sizes - 500cc, 1 litre and 2 litres - no odour, easy to brush.

Click here to see Prices or Buy

2. BORON ULTRA PASTE - Deep Injected Treatment for Dry Rot - no odour

A unique Boron based paste using a special blend of technical grade glycols as carriers. It can be injected into timber, with the advantage of supplying a highly concentrated mobile preservative which will spread even at low moisture content levels. Simple to apply with a standard skeleton gun; more effective to use because of the higher available level of active content, which allows the use of smaller (8mm, rather than 10mm) and/or fewer drill holes.

Boron Paste - for injection

Boron Paste with extension tube

Boron Paste in a mastic tube, with an extension adapter nozzle. For injection into wood to kill dry rot and insects.

Also available - Timber Paste for dry wood - ideal for fully indoor structural timbers that are suffering from Death Watch Beetle, House Longhorn Beetle or Termites.

Click here to see Prices or Buy

3. BORON RODS - Solid Rods for embedding Boron inside holes in wood - prevents and kills Dry Rot

These solid rods of Boron based compound are used to protect timbers which are constantly or occasionally damp: external joinery, wall plates, embedded beam ends, posts etc. They can also be used in conjunction with BORON ULTRA Paste, to act as a long term reservoir (Standard Sizes - 8mm x 24mm and 8mm x 65mm).

Boron Rods - solid sticks of Borax

Boron Rod drilling diagram for window cills

Packets of Boron Rods as solid fused sticks of preservative. Example of insertion in a frame.

Click here to see Prices or Buy

4. DRY ROT PAINT - Special Emulsion Coating - low odour (non Boron)

A specially treated preservative biocidal emulsion paint designed to prevent the surface spread of Dry rot. Ideal for timber and masonry in the treatment of adjacent areas, to provide visual lasting evidence of treatment. It prevents surface spread of strands and mycelium.

Some Site photographs showing how Dry Rot can spread - often in hidden places below or between floors.

Dry Rot Fruiting BodyMillions of Spores on a Dry Rot Fungus

Dry Rot under a floor

Click here to see Prices or Buy

Benefits of Borax Boron based for Dry Rot treatments

* Boron has a world-wide safety reputation - 5% products still require no hazard warnings

* Borates have ultra low toxicity - about the same as Table Salt

* Boron based preservative kills only wood rots and wood boring insects - not spiders, birds or bats

* Boron has no odour - leaves no smell

* Borax does not evaporate - stays in the wood

* Borons are non-flammable - they actually act as Flame Retardants

Click here to see Prices or Buy

Technical Support for Dry Rot

All PRS products are supported with Method Statements, Specifications and comprehensive technical support. Please ask for our technical department. Contact us aT: 01626 872886 or help@propertyrepairsystems.co.uk

Certificate of Product Guarantee for Dry Rot

We offer a printed Certificate of Product Guarantee for individual properties, should you require one for your Bank, Building Society or house purchaser.

Call us for details on 01626 872886 .

Safety for Dry Rot Treatment

See our Dry Rot Technical Information page for Product Safety Information. The Boron based product, Boracol 10 , used for Dry Rot Treatment diluted in water at 5% or 10% BAE is fully Licensed by the HSE and the 5% version is not required to carry any hazard warning labels.

Click to go to Dry Rot Technical Information.

Links to our other Web Sites | Privacy Policy

Returns Policy | Technical & Safety | Contact

Property Repair Systems,

T: 01626 872886

E: help@propertyrepairsystems.co.uk

Site written by: David Moore

David Moore, B.A. (Hons.), C.T.I.S., C.R.D.S. Technical Author