The Problem

The three main causes of timber decay in the UK are Wet-rot, Dry-rot and wood boring insect infestation. All these types of decay are similar in the way in which they can damage the structural strength of timbers and also in the way that they are all caused by moisture in timber. When wood gets wet, it attracts wood-rotting fungi which is generally known as wet rot and dry rot. This leads to permanent decay and the symptoms are obvious and severe: the wood softens, loses its strength and begins to discolour and splinter. Woodworm is the collective name for a number of species of wood boring insects that attack wood. The term “woodworm” refers to the larval or “worm” stage of the insects’ life when they bore and eat wood. If left untreated, woodworm can seriously weaken timber leading to the eventual failure of the structure of a building. Woodworm are seasonal pests and can normally be seen exiting flooring and roof timbers from May to October. It is important to identify if you have a woodworm or wet/dry rot problem and find an appropriate treatment as quickly as possible. 

The solution

Three counties damp and groundworks offers a full range of timber preservation solutions. The first step is to carry out an in-depth survey into the cause of the decay and establish how far the problem has spread. Any timbers that have lost there structural strength will need to be removed and replaced using pre-treated timbers specifically designed for this application. Where any new timbers contact masonry, a physical DPM will be placed between the masonry and the timber, thus preventing any future moisture ingress. Any timbers only partly affected and which still have structural integrity can be chemically treated to neutralize the attack of wet/dry rot and woodworm infestation. In some cases, where dry rot is evident for example, surrounding masonry and other substrates should also be chemically treated as it is possible for the fungi to survive on materials other than timber. Finally, it is also important to eliminate any risks of moisture getting into the timber in the future and to make sure that proper ventilation is provided under suspended timber floors etc.

The most important step in timber preservation works is the correct diagnosis of the problem and the correct remedial works and chemical treatments being carried out to solve the issue and prevent any further outbreaks in the future. You can rest assured that all our surveyors are experienced in identifying all types of timber decay. And as always, all works are fully guaranteed and are carried out to a high standard at an affordable cost.

dry rot wet rot timber decay
woodworm timber decay

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