My parents' basement has flooded for years but nobody in my family cared to do anything about it. Fast forward to me taking a look at things and trying to make some repairs. Aside from waterproofing the basement and replacing several lally columns, I'm also concerned that years of damage has maybe rotted the wood.

Can anyone tell if this is wood rot from the pictures uploaded, or do I need to do a test?

Hoping for staining or something that can easily be cleaned.


  • The second images discoloration above the Lally colum looks like iron stain. See fpl.fs.usda.gov/documnts/finlines/…. Does it smell musty down there? How did that splintered wood along the bottom get splintered like that?
    – popham
    Commented Feb 6 at 7:11
  • 1
    A simple test for wood rot is to take a nail or pointy object and push into the wood by hand. Good wood should only give about a 1/16 or 1/8 inch. Just enough to make a tiny mark. If you can drive it more than that, probably some rot.
    – crip659
    Commented Feb 6 at 13:33
  • Thanks @popham and @crip659! It did smell musty for years until my mom started cleaning with bleach. I'm going to try to stop by and check it out again. I'm not sure how the splintered wood on the bottom happened.... There used to be some walls (wood) that separated the basement into what was supposed to be rooms and I'm guessing the splintered wood may have been attached to those walls at one point.
    – user182413
    Commented Feb 6 at 14:15
  • You might also put a hygrometer down there, e.g. amazon.com/…. You can correlate the temperature and humidity with equilibrium moisture contents with the table on Chapter 4's page 4 at fpl.fs.usda.gov/documnts/fplgtr/fpl_gtr190.pdf. Dry rot needs a moisture content over 18%. If the flood condition has happened recently, you might buy a moisture content device for testing the wood (the devices are as cheap as 15-20 USD on Amazon).
    – popham
    Commented Feb 6 at 16:41


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