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Timber Treatment

Dry and Wet Rot

Rot can be very destructive to timbers and wall fabric and timbers within a building with a moisture content of 20% or more are likely to be affected by wood rotting fungi.

A detailed survey should be carried out to identify and locate sources of moisture ingress. Particular attention should be paid to roofs and rainwater systems with emphasis on gutters and downpipes, parapet roofs and roof coverings. Rain penetration can also be through renderings and flashings or around windows and doors. Rising dampness through missing, bridged or otherwise defective damp-proof courses must be rectified. Any plumbing should also be inspected for leaks.

Decay will cease if the moisture content of the wood is reduced to below about 20 per cent, and many extinct outbreaks of dry rot are discovered in buildings where the fungus has died out as a result of this happening, probably following maintenance which has eliminated a water source.

Liquid preservatives can be applied to the surface of sound timbers left in situ to help prevent new infections developing during the drying process. However, they should not be used or regarded as an alternative to physical methods of protection.

Woodworm (Anobium punctatum)

Woodworm treatment specialists in Kent

Most cases of wood-boring insects are the Common Furniture Beetle (Woodworm).

The Common Furniture Beetle is responsible for three-quarters of all the woodworm damage to property in the country and will attack both soft and hardwoods.

The woodworm may infest floorboards, the roof timbers or staircase.

Anobium punctatum lays its eggs inside the surface of the wood and the resultant woodworm larvae eat the wood, leaving behind a network of tunnels, causing the characteristic small holes in the surface of the wood. It appears to have a preference for dead standing timber with the bark removed and only thrives under the conditions produced by the temperate climate of northern Europe. It therefore does not tolerate relative humidity below 60 per cent or timber moisture equivalents below 14 per cent, nor will it tolerate saturated timber and it will not thrive in temperatures much above 30°C.

It should be realised that a localised low level of Anobium punctatum infection may persist in infected timbers for many years after original infection, particularly under conditions which are generally unsuitable for the beetle to complete its life cycle. Adults may therefore eventually emerge from previously infected timber many years after original infection, with little or no risk of further infection or decay. This should not be mistaken for evidence of a sudden outbreak of active infection and decay.

We do not subscribe to ‘preventative spraying’ and would only suggest treating the timbers if there is a serious active infestation of woodworm as this can result in weakening of the timber.