Timber Treatment

A full treatment service for everything from dry rot to wet rot, to wood-boring insect infestations.

dry rot timber image 1Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans)

‘Dry rot’ is an eighteenth century term for a brown rot. The term was used because the damage was thought to be caused by internal ‘fermentations’ rather than water.

Dry rot is a decaying fungus that often causes extensive damage. There are several different forms of dry rot all with slightly different characteristics, however they all rely on the timber to be damp, ie, floor joist ends, wall plates etc. Dry rot is capable of growing through bricks and mortar. Fungal strands (mycelium) can transport moisture from damp areas allowing the spread of the fungus to dry wood in unventilated conditions.

Specialist treatments including fungicide sterilisation of the brickwork will be required.

dry rot timber image 2Wet Rot (Coniophora puteana)

Wet rot, or cellar fungus is the commonest form of decay in woodwork which has become soaked by water leakage. Typical characteristics are darkened wood with cracks along and across the grain, but usually less deep than those caused by Serpula lacrymans (dry rot, above). Where conditions cause drying of the wood surface, an apparently sound skin of timber often remains which crack longitudinally as the decay progresses beneath.

Woodworm (Anobium Punctatum)

The term 'woodworm' is used generally to describe most common species of wood boring insects. Infestations are recognised by the appearance of tiny holes in furniture and structural timbers within the property accompanied by the presence of bore dust or 'frass'. These signs indicate that woodworm 'grubs' are actively tunneling inside the wood causing internal structural damage. Treatment following professional diagnosis normally requires modern insectisidal fluids to be applied to all exposed areas of timber. Deep penetrating emulsified wood paste preservative may be required or heavy dimensional timbers.

The Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum)

The death watch beetle is a woodboring beetle, namely a beetle whose larvae are xylophagous. The adult is approximately 7 mm long. The larva can be up to 11 mm long.

They are often found in historic buildings where large quantities of oak or elm have been used structurally. Softwoods are rarely attacked except when they come into contact with infested hardwood. They are found in areas particularly prone to dampness, which is essential for establishment and promoting rapid development. Damage is often extreme in concealed bearing ends of timbers inserted into damp walls.

Wood-boring insects - life cycle

A number of insects, mainly beetles, are able to use wood as a food source and some of them can cause serious damage to building timbers. These insects all have fairly similar life-cycles, although there are variations in the length in the cycle, the type of wood attacked, and the extent and type of damage caused.

insect lifecycle

Dry and wet rot fungus is often thought of as a building cancer, rampaging through buildings and rapidly destroying any timber in its path.

timber treatment