Timber is a common building material in properties of all ages, often forming key parts of the structure. Unfortunately timber can fall victim to various issues such as wet rot, dry rot and woodworm.
Woodworm is a generic term used for wood boring beetles. The most common form of insect timber damage in UK homes is caused by the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). In the Spring and Summer months adult beetles emerge from timbers and after mating the female beetle lays her eggs into the cracks and crevices of the timber she’s just left. A month or so later the eggs hatch and the larvae burrow into the timber. They can remain there for up to four years -slowly eating and burrowing beneath the surface of the wood. Eventually the mature lava will form a pupation chamber just beneath the surface of the wood. After pupation, the adult beetle cuts a hole out into the timber’s surface and emerges for the cycle to start over again.
Most homeowners first encounter evidence of woodworm when they lift carpets laying on wooden floors and find the tracks and holes of a typical infestation. The most important point to remember about woodworm damage is that any evidence of woodworm is historic, holes that have been made as the beetle larvae leaves the wood and may indicate an old infestation that does not require any treatment. Any new holes that appear and the dust or frass falling from them will often indicate the presence of a new and active infestation.
Left untreated it is conceivable that woodworm could cause serious damage to structural timbers, but the more usual result is cosmetic damage to surface timbers, necessitating floorboard replacement.
A survey will establish the type of woodworm and extent of any damage. If any treatment is required this is usually undertaken with water-based insecticides, although other treatments may be recommended.
Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans) is a particular type of wood fungus that forms on timbers in damp and humid conditions. Dry rot begins as microscopic spores which can appear as a fine orange dust. When these spores are in contact with sufficient moisture they begin to grow fine white strands known as Mycelium. These strands will eventually form a large mass or mushroom like growth known as a Fruiting Body which then releases new spores into the surrounding air to continue the spread of the rot.
As the strands spread across timbers feeding on its nutrients it causes the wood to lose strength and integrity. The fungus can also leach into adjacent brickwork, breaking through mortar joints and plasterwork often causing severe damage to building structures.
By conducting a survey, we can establish what type of rot a property has – In the case of Dry Rot it is important to halt the source of the moisture and stop the spread of the spores.
There are numerous Wet Rots caused by a variety of fungi that feed on timber causing the wood cells to breakdown and crumble. Certain rots display similar characteristics and correct diagnosis of the type of decay is essential to ensure the correct treatment.
Wet rots can be found on very damp wood and remain confined to these saturated areas, unlike the spreading Dry Rot. They are usually considered less destructive but nevertheless can have a serious effect on buildings if widespread.
By conducting a survey, we can establish what type of rot a property has – treatment can then be carried out accordingly.
APP are approved contractors for Rotafix Timber Repairs – The Resiwood range of products allow for various repairs to be made to existing decayed timbers. By splicing in new timber and connecting with resin adhesives the structural strength is maintained.
This system is often favoured by conservation officers it also satisfies the requirements of English Heritage by ensuring that the minimum amount of material only is removed from historic timbers.
APP can provide you with advice on any aspect of dampness, structural waterproofing or timber preservation. Contact us by phone, email or via the contact form on this website. We will discuss your requirements and where appropriate make an appointment with you for one of our qualified surveyors to visit and carry out a survey.
Our site surveys, which include a comprehensive written report, remedial specification and where necessary an estimate for work, are provided within five working days of the survey.
Our reputation for integrity and accuracy has been hard-won and our Surveyors are not paid commission. All are fully qualified as Certified Surveyor of Timber and Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) and Certified Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) and we are members of the Property Care Association (PCA).
Once you have reviewed the report, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
CODE OF PRACTICE
As with our surveyors, our installation teams are employed directly by us.
Our installation teams carry ID and arrive on time, in sign-written vehicles.
We never forget that this is your home and we treat it like your home, our team are thorough, clean and tidy.
Some aspects of timber preservation can be dusty and noisy, we use industrial standard dust barriers to keep mess to a minimum and we clean up properly once we are done.
Our specialist partner sub-contractors also work to our code of practice.
TIMBER PRESERVATION FAQs
Our surveyors are qualified to Certified Surveyor of Timber and Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) and Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) standard. This is the industry standard accreditation administered by the Property Care Association.
No. This is one of the most pervasive myths in our industry. It is probably a hang-over from a time when the chemicals employed to treat damp and timber problems were solvent based. We switched to water-based chemicals about 25 years ago and there are no odour problems associated with these.
Most of our timber treatments are offered with an APP guarantee and an insurance backed guarantee. Your report will carry full details of the scheme.
Find out about Guarantee Protection Insurance…