Treating Musty Smells In The Home Before Rot Takes Hold

by | Nov 27, 2018 | DIY Tips, Home

Tell-Tale Signs That Timber Decay Is Taking Place

One of the problems with living in an older property is the likelihood of structural disrepair. Spotting and treating rot is essential to keep your framework intact.

Older properties have space, character and so much charm. But unfortunately, they tend to fall short compared to newbuilds when it comes to wear and tear. From much-needed renovation work to structural maintenance, unfortunately period homes can be quite hard on the wallet. But the costs get steeper the longer you leave problems to fester. One of the most common issues with older properties is that the structural timberwork starts to decay, resulting in the need to replace or repair the framework of your home. The cost of doing so can run into the thousands, so it’s important to look out for the tell-tale signs – and the first one is a musty smell.

The Moisture Content In Your Home

A rotten, musty odour is usually present in areas of the home where there is too much moisture content. This can be due to a lack of ventilation, where the moisture in the air that has not been allowed to circulate, settles on cold surfaces such as your walls or ceilings. Or it can be a sign that damp has penetrated the exterior of your home and has taken hold in the framework of your house beneath the foundations or beyond your interior walls. As far as rot is concerned, dry rot needs as little as 20% moisture content to take hold, whereas wet rot requires a much more substantial 50%.

Identifying That Rot Is Present

Once you have identified that there is an unpleasant odour in your home, it’s essential that you jump straight into investigating the source of the issue. The longer you try to ignore the problem, the more time you’re giving the issue to spread which will ultimately be more expensive. In some cases, the cause may be related to penetrating damp which is reasonably easy to assess and fix once you’ve identified the cause of any leaks. But in cases where the mustiness is related to your timberwork, as the problem is likely structural, you’ll need a professional opinion to fully analyse the situation.

Timber Treatment Or Replacement

An initial survey of the rot can be as cheap as £200, so it’s worth taking this step to give you the full picture of the problem. It may be that the rot has taken hold in your joists, beams or other structural woodwork. If the issue is identified quickly, then it may be possible to use timber treatment as a form of repair. This involves using a specialist timber resin to repair just the areas of the wood that have already decayed, commonly the ends or mid-sections of the frame. If it’s too late to salvage the existing wood, then the only other option available is to replace the decayed pieces of wood entirely, which can be an incredibly costly exercise running into the thousands, or even tens of thousands.

A dank smell may be the first sign of rot in your home, but you should also be on the look-out for patches of mould, spore dust, rotten woodwork and any fungal growths. If you spot any of these, then it’s time to call in the professionals before you end up with a significant problem on your hands.

Read through our useful guide for more information

Let us get you started with your own self build