Buying or selling a house with dry rot can be difficult. Dry rot is worse than wet rot. It's a fast-spreading fungus that causes no damage.
You may not think it's necessary to treat dry rot before selling, but it can affect the price. If a buyer finds dry rot, you'll likely get a lower price than the cost of treatment. If dry rot is mostly on the wood's surface and hasn't caused structural damage, you may pay less for treatment.
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer timber repairs work from simple timber repair to almost new structures, renovations, and extensions.
What Causes Dry Rot?
Dry rot spores are found in the majority of homes, but they won't cause any harm until the spores come into contact with moisture and wood at the same time. The presence of dry rot in a structure is typically the result of a lack of ventilation, which, when combined with moisture, creates the ideal conditions for a fungal attack. It has a propensity to grow in places that people don't look, such as under floorboards and in lofts, which allows the outbreak to frequently go unnoticed and causes significant damage to the timber in the structure.
Dry Rot Life Cycle
When spores contact wood and moisture, they grow into fine white strands called hyphae. Hyphae allow dry rot fungus to feed on wood, causing it to lose strength and become unsound. Mycelium forms when hyphae run out of wood to eat. Mycelium spreads far in search of new wood to eat, so a dry rot outbreak can spread throughout a building, attacking and eating wood. Fungi prefer dark, damp, windless areas. When dry rot's survival is threatened, it creates a "fruiting body" or sporophore. This pumps dry rot spores back into the air, where they search for new growth sites.
Dry Rot Impact on Buying/Selling a House
If dry rot is allowed to go untreated, it will be permitted to spread throughout an entire property, which will make the process of treating it even more expensive. It is imperative that you do not ignore any signs of dry rot in your property as this costly treatment is often the factor that prevents potential home buyers from moving forwards with the transaction.
It is not just the cost of treatment that will cause a reduction in the value of the property; the buyer will also have to invest time and effort into dealing with the dry rot outbreak in order to do so. Do not hesitate to get in touch with a professionally trained surveyor if you have any reason to believe that your home is experiencing an outbreak of dry rot. This surveyor will either put your mind at ease or suggest a treatment plan that is specifically designed for your property.
Bought A House With Problems Not Disclosed
After all of the upheaval of moving into a new house, you'll want to make it a priority to get settled in as quickly as possible. The last thing you want from your new home is an unpleasant surprise. Unfortuitously, it is not uncommon for a buyer to uncover an anticipated issue with the property after purchasing it. The seller was responsible for disclosing any known issues to the buyer. But what solutions do they have to this problem?
Buyers must thoroughly inspect properties. During conveyancing, the legal process of selling and buying a home, the seller must answer truthfully about the property's condition. The Misrepresentations Act allows lawsuits if they don't.
The seller's property form covers many topics. A seller's answers must be full and truthful; refusing to answer a question should make buyers suspicious and rethink the purchase. Truthfulness applies to all communications with the seller, whether in person or through a solicitor or estate agent.
Equally, sellers should not hide or cover potential problems with a property, such as large cracks or damp.
Commissioning a survey
A comprehensive conveyancing process is something that most buyers will also commision, in addition to a survey. In this step, a qualified chartered surveyor examines a property from top to bottom in search of flaws and potential issues. You have the option to select the level of detail that is included in the survey; while some only provide an overview of the state of the home, others examine the structure in great detail. Not only do they give you additional peace of mind, but if the surveyor misses a major flaw, you have the option of going back to them and asking for compensation for the oversight.
Discovering an undisclosed problem
When you buy a house, it is likely that you will find a number of minor issues that need to be repaired, such as a window that is difficult to open or a faucet that leaks. If you are living in a home that was recently constructed, the developer ought to provide assistance with this kind of problem. If that isn't the case, these aren't the kinds of issues that would warrant going back to a buyer.
However, undisclosed problems that could have an impact on the value of a home are. These include:
- Disputes with neighbours.
- Planned development in the area that could affect a property.
- Damp or dry rot.
- Structural defects.
- The presence of Japanese Knotweed, a fast-growing and very damaging plant.
- Works that do not have planning permission.
Seeking compensation from the seller.
If you discover a problem of this nature, you have the ability to take corrective action, regardless of the motivation behind the seller's misrepresentation: whether it was fraudulent (the seller lied on purpose), negligent (they didn't take sufficient care to provide the right information), or innocent (they believed they were telling the truth).
As a buyer, you will have to show:
- The misrepresentation is a fact and not your opinion.
- The information influenced your decision to buy the home.
- The information was false at the time contracts were signed.
- You have suffered loss because of it.
If a defect appears between contract exchange and closing, the buyer can refuse to complete the sale, ask for a price reduction, or seek damages.
Living in a home can reveal problems like a difficult neighbour or a lack of planning permission for an extension. Consult a property lawyer to determine if you have a case. Six years after buying a home, you can sue.
If you win, you'll get damages. This is the difference between the home's purchase price and its true value after the defect is fixed. This can cost thousands of pounds.
In fraudulent cases, the seller may rescind the contract and buy back the home for what you paid. This has a wider impact, especially if your purchase was part of a chain, making it difficult to complete.
Check out our range of timber repairs Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions.
Selling with peace of mind.
If you are selling a home and are unsure of some information relating to it – for example, if work was done on the property years before you owned it, and you do not have the relevant documentation – you can protect yourself by purchasing indemnity insurance, which your conveyancer can assist you in doing. If you are selling a home and are unsure of some information relating to it, you can protect yourself by selling your home.
You might also give the idea of selling your house to us some thought. We are interested in purchasing houses of every imaginable shape, size, and condition. Once we have agreed on a price with you, there will be no room for negotiation and we will take care of and pay for any valuations that are required.
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 discolouration
If you notice any of these warning signs, it is imperative that you perform a more thorough examination of the wood by poking it with a screwdriver or a knife.
On the other hand, if you are planning to buy a home in an area where dry rot is a typical issue, it is strongly recommended that you bring a trained professional along with you so that there is no possibility of overlooking any signs of dry rot. An expert will not only conduct an investigation into dry rot, but he or she will also provide you with information regarding the level of damage. Because detecting dry rot takes experience and training, it is a better idea to seek the assistance of a professional than to attempt to investigate the problem on your own.
In the event that you have already purchased a house and discovered dry rot within it, then having a qualified professional conduct an investigation into the dry rot should be your top priority. After conducting an investigation, it is imperative that you seek treatment for dry rot as soon as possible in order to stop the fungus from spreading and causing irreparable damage to the property.
What Is Dry-Rot And How Do I Choose A Dry-Rot Expert?
These are two questions we often hear from clients worried about dry-rot timber decay. Dry-rot is the most insidious and destructive type of decay that can affect any age home or business. Most fungal attacks are hidden by floor voids, panelling, joinery timbers, and wall plaster. Given the right conditions, it can grow quickly and cause thousands of pounds of structural damage in a short time, destroying all untreated wood in its path. Dry-rot remediation is disruptive and complex, so only qualified experts should perform it.
What causes dry-rot?
In order to germinate and grow, dry-rot fungi, like all other wood-destroying fungal attacks, require moisture. In most cases, the moisture is the result of a problem with the building itself or a leak in the plumbing. This problem has resulted in the concealed timbers becoming wet, which creates the ideal conditions for mould growth, particularly if ventilation is restricted. It is very important to ensure that your property is not damp because a dry property is a safe property. Dry-rot spores cannot germinate on timber that has a moisture content of less than 20 percent, so it is very important to ensure that your property is not damp.
How can I recognise dry-rot?
When it comes to the majority of significant issues, having expert knowledge is not always necessary to recognise that something is wrong. The first indication that there is a problem is probably when you become aware of something that is happening that is out of the ordinary, such as your furniture being constantly covered by a fine rust or red dust or a constant smell of mushrooms.
Alternately, you might have discovered that your floor is bouncing or that the skirting boards in your home have cracked. When a fleshy, white and red mushroom-like fungus known as a fruiting body makes an appearance, it is an unmistakable sign that the infection has progressed to a virulent stage.
Can I treat dry-rot myself?
Dry rot is an issue that is far too serious to be eliminated by oneself, and it is something that should never be dealt with by anyone other than an experienced dry-rot company. Because the mycelium is able to grow through the masonry in search of the timber that serves as its food source, it is imperative that it be meticulously traced in order to determine the full extent of the attack.
The plaster will need to be removed, and once that is done, the completely exposed areas will need to be treated with a fungicidal masonry solution in a comprehensive manner. Before replacing the afflicted timbers with pre-treated wood, the unaffected timbers have to be preserved with a high-performance preservative first. Then, the afflicted timbers can be replaced. After that, a system designed specifically for re-plastering is utilised to re-coat the walls.
We have a wide range of Melbourne timber repairs for your home renovations. Check out Hitch Property Constructions.
How Wood Rot Destroys Home Sale Values
Johnson County home sellers must deal with wood rot. 20 billion board feet of wood are destroyed by wood rot in the US each year, more than by fire. Replacement wood used to repair wood rot accounts for 10% of annual U.S. wood production.
Much wood. A home sale often prompts homeowners to replace wood rot. Wood rot scares buyers and devalues homes. It can signal trouble for a home's exterior. The buyer must perform due diligence in real estate transactions. This includes inspections. If the buyer's inspection finds problems, he can cancel the sale or try to negotiate repairs. You don't want to restart at this point. To keep the process moving or appease the buyer, you may concede more than the cost of the repairs.
Wood rot isn't limited to siding...
Wood decks cause dry rot. Cedar, redwood, sunwood, or pressure-treated lumber resist dry rot and wood rot. A 1/2-inch air gap between the deck and siding allows water to drain. Johnson County requires spacers between the ledger board and siding to drain water. Old decks with the ledger attached to the siding often rot. Buyers may be turned off by older or DIY decks. Poor flashing and caulking cause dry rot in windows and doors. All should have drip flashing and proper caulking. Backer rod (flexible foam rope) should be laid into gaps larger than 1/4" and sealed with silicone caulk. Wood rot is common in 20-year-old homes and remodels. Price, location, or siding type don't prevent damage. Neighborhood Painting considers these factors before prepping exterior surfaces, including decks.
When selling your home, check for wood rot. Wood rot can devalue your home. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression, and a well-kept exterior can boost your bottom line.
FAQs About Wood Rot
Before any treatment can be made to treat dry rot the damp issues must be solved first. The reason for this is that the dry rot treatments are will become ineffective if the timber is damp again the dry rot is likely to colonise again.
Dry rot occurs when airborne spores come into contact with damp timber that has a moisture content of over 20%. These spores then germinate and sprout grey root hyphae strands. The hyphae grow into mycelium which covers the timber in a thick cotton-wool like substance.
Moisture can easily cause rotting and splitting in wood, and a new coat of paint will not do anything to fix the problem. When water soaks into wood, it can cause wood to expand and swell as well as deteriorate to the point of falling apart. So, painting over the problem only won't fix it, it will just add to it.
Although dry rot itself is not hazardous to humans health it is still an indication of the conditions in your home. If dry rot is present then there is a high likelihood that your home is very damp. Having a very damp home can increase the chances of having mold, bacteria, and other spores in your home.
Dry rot may also spread over onto other materials such as carpets and fabrics if in contact with dampness. However, unless these materials are cellulose based it is unlikely to cause any damage although some discolouration may occur.