why are my walls so cold

Why Are My Walls So Cold?


Do the walls of your lounge feel cold when you touch them? Or perhaps the bedroom walls are frigid at night when the rest of the room is toasty and warm in winter?

If you’ve got cold walls, then you’ve got an insulation problem. If you notice cold walls in your home, don’t ignore them, because cold walls lead to heat and energy loss; they can even become a source of damp.

Read on as our experts explain why your walls are so cold, and what can be done to warm them up.

What Is Causing My Cold Walls?

Simply put, cold walls are caused by poor insulation. If your home is poorly insulated, it means that heat from inside the home is easily escaping to the outside. Warm air moves from inside the rooms, passing through the walls to be lost outside.

Without insulation, there’s no barrier to keep the heat in. Because the walls aren’t acting as insulators and trapping heat, the walls feel cold when you touch them.

There can be several underlying causes of poor insulation in your home. In older houses, there’s often no cavity wall in place, so hot air is readily lost through solid walls. Even in modern homes, insulation can simply be lacking or damp issues could be causing wider insulation problems and cold walls.

Should I Be Worried About Cold Walls?

Cold walls are a problem. If cold patches are forming, it means that you’re losing heat through the walls. In fact, homeowners don’t often realise that buildings lose as much as 50 per cent of their heat through walls. With cold walls, this percentage goes up dramatically.

This means that you’ll be paying out huge sums on unnecessarily high energy bills, which isn’t great for your wallet or for the environment.

Cold walls also lead to damp problems. This occurs when hot air collides with the cold patches on the wall. Condensation will start to build up and, if left unchecked, this could lead to structural damage.

How Can I Warm Up and Insulate My Walls?

The most effective fix for cold walls is to install insulation. The best way to go about insulating your home varies from property to property, so it’s important to have an energy-saving survey carried out by a professional.

If you have existing cavity walls, this is a simple fix, as you’ll be able to fill the cavity with extra insulating materials. If you have solid walls, then insulation becomes trickier, as a second layer of material will need to be built adjacent to the wall, before being filled with insulation.

Because cold walls are often associated with damp, any sources of moisture or damp will also need to be removed from a home. Waterproof damp proofing membranes can help with insulation, too.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives for More Information on Insulating Cold Walls and Energy Efficiency

For more information and advice on insulating cold walls, then please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists will be on hand and ready to offer expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.


damp survey

What Does a Damp Survey Involve?

Professional surveyors carry out damp surveys in order to identify existing cases of damp within a building. They are often combined with timber inspections to form a damp and timber survey.

These investigations aim to locate potential issues such as wet and dry rot or woodworm infestations, as well as damp.

In this article, we take a look at what a damp and timber survey involves and explain when you might need one.

What Is a Damp Survey?

Damp surveys are independent reports compiled by damp specialists after a thorough inspection of a property.

Carried out as part of a damp and timber survey, the report highlights any structural issues, causes of damp or rot, and more. A standard damp and timber survey aims to identify any of the following:

● Condensation

● Wet and dry rot

● Rising damp

● Penetrating damp

● Woodworm infestations and other pests

A damp and timber survey identifies any existing issues and potential problems that may arise in the future, before providing recommendations for treatment, repair, or prevention.

When Do I Need a Damp and Timber Survey?

If you’re worried that your home’s timbers may be contracting rot or that penetrating damp is getting into the walls, then a damp and timber survey is the best course of action. Damp Surveyors will identify and isolate existing problems, and make recommendations for prevention and repair.

Prospective home buyers or property investors should always have a damp and timber survey carried out before they make a purchase.

In fact, the vast majority of mortgage lenders will ask for a damp survey to be carried out before they loan any money, and surveys are often carried out as part of a wider homebuyer’s survey or building survey.

It’s an excellent way to catch any existing problems, giving you the opportunity to negotiate repairs or better prices with the seller, while ensuring you’re not sprung with hefty repair costs after you’ve made a purchase.

How Long Does a Damp and Timber Survey Take?

The length of time a damp and timber survey takes to be completed depends on the size of the property and the extent of any existing damage.

Other factors include the age of the building and how accessible its timbers are. If floorboards need to be removed, for example, to check for signs of an infestation or hidden damp, then surveys take longer to complete.

In most cases, a thorough damp and timber survey takes no more than a few hours, and it’s rare for a survey to take up a whole day. Once surveyors have collected the data and photographs they need, they compile a report before presenting you with their findings and recommendations at a later date.

Get A Damp and Timber Survey

For an impartial discussion about your damp concern or damp surveys, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced damp proofing professionals will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.

 Image courtesy: Nick Youngson

how to treat woodworm infestation

What is the Cost of Treating Woodworm?

What is the Cost of Treating Woodworm?

Woodworm are small larvae that feed off timbers. If left to their own devices, an infestation can cause expensive structural problems. Woodworm burrow deep into furniture, walls, doorframes and timbers, causing unwanted (but preventable) destruction to your home.

But how much does it cost to treat woodworm effectively? Woodworm treatments vary in cost from one building to the next. There are lots of factors to consider, from the extent of the infestation to the most effective and long-lasting treatment.

Remember that treatment is always going to be cheaper than having to replace broken timbers entirely, so act fast if you have an infestation! Keep reading, as we discuss the cost of treating woodworm.

Woodworm Survey Costs

If you suspect your home has been invaded by woodworm, you need to get in touch with a woodworm treatment specialist such as Danford, Brewer & Ives. Before anything can be done, a thorough woodworm survey needs to be carried out by an expert.

A woodworm survey identifies the species of woodworm that are present in timbers, while also identifying the extent of any existing damage to the property caused by the infestation. Surveys check under floorboards, in basements and attics, and anywhere else where timbers could be affected.

The cost of a woodworm survey depends on the size of the property and the time it takes for the specialist to compile an accurate survey. In most cases, costs won’t exceed £250 per survey.

Once the survey has taken place, the homeowner is presented with a detailed report containing the findings. A woodworm specialist makes recommendations for treatments, and then provides a more detailed estimate of what the costs would be to carry out the suggested treatment plans.

Woodworm Treatment Costs

Woodworm treatments need to be tailormade to a particular property, as no two infestations and no two buildings are exactly the same.

During the surveying stage, the specialists collect information on three major factors which affect the overall cost of woodworm treatment.

  1. How big is the affected property?

  2. What’s the extent of the woodworm infestation?

  3. What type of treatment is needed?

Variable costs largely depend on the size of the property and the amount of damage that’s already been done. As we already noted at the start of this article, acting fast always saves you money in the long run.

The longer you leave an infestation, the more timber the woodworm work their way through. Damage might at first be superficial and easy to fix (indeed, woodworm can be eradicated without the need for any major works if caught early enough). But give them time and the woodworm work their way through timbers. Eventually, timbers can collapse entirely, causing dangerous structural damage.

As you can imagine, a collapsed wall or broken flooring isn’t cheap to replace.

Type of Woodworm

The overall cost depends on the type of treatment required. A specialist recommends the best treatment based on the extent of the infestation and the type of woodworm causing the damage.

The common furniture beetle, for example, is one of the most common types of woodworm. This species can be eradicated easily, often using simple sprays. If the infestation hasn’t spread far, then the cost is going to be minimal.

Other species have the ability to burrow deep into timbers. These take more time to locate and are more difficult to eradicate. Costs go up if specialists need to inject timbers with anti-woodworm liquids.

If a woodworm infestation has gotten completely out of hand, costs can, unfortunately, become significant for the homeowner. If sprays and gels aren’t sufficient to remove the infestation, woodworm specialists need to resort to heavy-handed tactics. This can mean fogging the home or fumigating the building. These take time to set up and take time to be effective, so of course they will cost more than simpler treatments.

Contact Us for More Information

Our team has been providing woodworm treatment to homeowners in Yorkshire, Teesside, and North East England for decades, and we’re here to help with your infestations. The exact cost of woodworm treatment varies from one home to the next. For more information, get in touch with Danford, Brewer & Ives today.

Please contact our friendly experts on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.

How to Treat Damp on Concrete Floors

How to Stop Damp on Concrete Floors

Concrete has been used in construction since Roman times, so presumably, they must have had similar problems with damp on concrete floors to today’s property owners.

Traditionally, the treatment for damp on concrete floors was to replace the whole floor. Fortunately, there are now easier and cheaper solutions.

All new properties have waterproofing solutions included in their designs and there are ever-improving treatments for the occasions there are issues. This should mean it becomes a more rare problem for property owners to deal with.

In this post, we will look at how to recognise if you have a damp problem on concrete floors and what can be done to resolve it.

Risk Factors and Signs of Damp on Concrete Floors

History: Damp-proof coursing did not become mandatory in new buildings until the Public Health Act of 1875. In the rush to meet the new legal requirements, the standard of the damp-proof coursing was initially poor, and so properties built around that time may still not have adequate protection. If you have an old property, you should check to see if any protection has been fitted retrospectively.

Evidence of water ingress: Water ingress includes signs of rising damp, evidence of water on the floor, and mould on the floor or walls, especially in basements or cellars.

Recent building work: Building work can damage existing damp-proofing systems.

Landscaping: any large-scale landscaping such as the removal of large trees which would have previously absorbed some of the water in the ground can increase the water content in the soil.

Flood risk: If the property is on a flood plain or where the water table levels are high, there is an increased risk of water rising above the protective layer of any existing waterproofing measures.

How Do Concrete Floors Get Damp?

Damp on concrete floors is most commonly seen at ground or below-ground levels. This has also made it traditionally more difficult to prevent and treat.

Concrete is a porous material and water travels through it in a capillary system in much the same way that water is absorbed from the ground by plants. This is important, as it is how water enters properties causing the problems of penetrating damp and rising damp.

How Is Damp on Concrete Floors Treated?

The treatment will depend on where the damage is, what the primary cause is, and how far it has spread.

An assessment should also check if there is any potential risk of future damage, such as dry or wet rot. A specialist damp-proofing and timber treatment company such as Danford Brewer and Ives Ltd can help advise you.

As with most property problems, the earlier it is assessed and treated, the cheaper and fewer indirect side effects there will be.

Treating Damp on Concrete Floors Above Ground Level

This is usually the easiest and cheapest damp concrete floor problem to resolve. As with any water ingress, it is important to find where the water is coming from and fix the problem. For example, this might mean fixing a leaking pipe. It is then normally just a case of taking any necessary steps to let the floor dry out.

Treating Damp on Concrete Floors at Ground Level

These problems are more complicated to resolve as the problem usually starts below ground with the moisture rising to the surface of the concrete and surrounding walls, hence the term, rising damp.

There are two main remedies:

  • Damp-proof coating: This is a liquid floor coating which is applied directly onto the concrete floor to seal it and prevent water from seeping in. It is usually an epoxy resin coating, as this is more hardwearing, but where there is going to be a floor covering on top of the concrete then a latex-based coating can be used. There are different products for different floor uses. To use these the floor must be clean, free from dust, and dry.
  • Damp-proof membrane: A damp-proof membrane has the advantage of being able to be applied to a damp concrete floor and walls. Like the liquid coating above, it provides a barrier to water entering the property. The membrane is a tough structural material and is often used as part of basement waterproofing solutions too. The process usually involves removing any existing floor coverings and skirting boards, laying a waterproof cavity membrane, which is normally up to 5mm thick, and then laying a floating floor on top, before refitting the skirting boards.

Basements and Cellars

Due to basements and cellars being below ground level, they are at increased risk of water ingress. This means that it is usually not just the floors that need protecting, but the walls as well.

There are different treatment and prevention options, and a waterproofing design specialist will advise you on what is best for your property.

The main types of waterproofing for new and existing basements and cellars are:

  • Tanking with slurry
  • Tanking with membranes
  • Type C waterproofing

Tanking with Slurry

This is a chemical coating that is applied to the internal masonry to provide a waterproof layer. This coating covers the walls as well as the floor.

Tanking with Membranes

In this treatment, waterproof membranes are attached to the floor and walls of basements and cellars to prevent water ingress.

The same membranes for ground-level work can be used here.

Type C Waterproofing

This system is rapidly becoming the most common remedy, as it is cheaper and quicker to install. It is also suitable for most basements and cellars.

The process protects the cellar or basement by providing a cavity drainage system to divert the water away from the property before it reaches the internal walls and floors.  Sump pumps are usually required to achieve this.

Damp on concrete floors will lead to serious problems associated with water ingress. If the problem is assessed early by specialists such as us at Danford Brewer and Ives Ltd, the appropriate treatments can be carried out with less expense and worry to the property owner.

To find out more about preventing damp on concrete floors or receive a quote for your project, contact Danford Brewer and Ives today by calling us directly at 01765 804050 to discuss your damp problem.

how to treat woodworm infestation

How to Get Rid of Woodworm

Woodworm is the common term for wood-boring insects and the damage they do to timber.

The insects are different species of beetles and weevils, and they spend most of their life as larvae which is when they eat the wood and make the distinctive tunnels and holes associated with woodworm.

If left untreated, woodworm can cause extensive and structural damage to property. In most cases though, it is possible to get rid of woodworm and prevent new infestations before then.

What Are the Different Types of Woodworm Beetle?

In the UK there are five main types of woodworm insects:

  1. Common furniture beetle: likes all wood. They live for up to five years.

  2. Deathwatch beetle: likes old hardwood structural timbers (old stately homes) not newer softwood. They can live for up to ten years

  3. Woodboring weevils: they are found in wet timber and often in damp joist ends

  4. Powderpost beetles: they prefer oak, ash, mahogany and walnut woods.

  5. House longhorn beetle (found mainly in Surrey): they are known for causing severe internal damage to wooden structures

Woodworm life cycles follow similar patterns. The adult female will lay up to about 50 eggs in the small holes and cracks in dead wood. The larvae hatch and start their destructive stage. They will spend the next few years hidden from view eating the dead wood and creating their recognisable tunnel networks.

The average length of time for this period for most of the species is 2-5 years, although some can be much longer. Humidity levels within the wood can affect how long the larvae stage lasts.

When the larvae are ready to become adult beetles, they eat their way to the timber surface making the characteristic exit holes.

The new adult beetles will then leave the timber, often by flying, to look for mates before reproducing and laying their eggs in the wood. The beetles and weevils only live for a few days as adults.

This adult stage is usually in the warmer months from spring until autumn, and this is when you may see the beetles.

What Damage Can Woodworm Do?

The damage will depend on the type of woodworm present.

Some woodworm larvae will remain close to the surface of the timber whereas others will burrow deep into the wood leaving it weak, brittle, and structurally unsafe.

How Do I Spot Woodworm?

An active woodworm infestation is difficult to spot, as the larvae remain hidden in the wood until they are ready to become adults. You may see exit holes from where the woodworm left the timber to become adult beetles. ‘Frass’ is the fine dust left behind at the exit holes and is from the woodworm eating its way out of the timber.

The adult beetles are attracted to light and you may find dead beetles on windowsills. You may occasionally see tiny bundles of eggs in cracks, crevices and the entrances of old exit holes.

Can I Get Rid of Woodworm Myself?

You can buy products in DIY stores which you can apply yourself. These are aimed at treating self-contained and small infestations, such as on an old piece of furniture you plan to bring into your home, rather than wide-scale timberwork.

If you are treating woodworm yourself, it is important to check that you know which type of woodworm you have, as not all treatments will be effective in all cases. You should also follow the instructions exactly and protect yourself from the chemicals as advised.

How Can I Prevent Woodworm?

Regularly checking your property for signs of damp and treating any causes of water ingress quickly will also make your property less welcoming to woodworm.

Woodworm thrives in conditions where the timber humidity levels are above 14 per cent and so keeping them low is key. Modern-day heating and keeping your property well-ventilated help here.

Checking and treating any timber items before they are brought into your property will also help reduce the risk of a woodworm infestation.

Why Should I Get Expert Help?

If you suspect that you have woodworm, it is best to seek specialist help straight away.

The different woodworm species mean that there are a lot of variables which need to be considered. Different treatment types and methods are used depending on the woodworm species, the wood, location, and severity of the infestation.

The surveyors will also have to check to see if the infestation has spread, as well as the extent of any timber damage.

Each species of wood-boring insects prefer different timber species and types. Some will stay close to the timber surfaces whereas others will burrow deep into the wood causing severe damage to its structure and strength.

It may be that the infestation is no longer active but the damage to the wood will still have to be assessed for structural damage to the property.

How Do Specialists Treat Woodworm?

The first step is an extensive assessment by a specialist surveyor to find out if there are any active infestations, the type of woodworm, and the extent of any damage.

You will then be advised of the findings, proposed treatments and repairs for any water ingress, and damp-related issues such as dry rot. The aim is to treat any issues and prevent any future woodworm infestations.

The most common first-line treatment is a chemical spray, which kills the insects on contact. Gels and spreads can also be applied or injected to kill any deep-burrowing larvae.

The chemicals and methods used will depend on the type of woodworm, the timber affected and the extent of the damage. It may also be necessary to carry out wood repairs or replacement of some timbers.

If you have any questions or concerns, our team at Danford Brewer and Ives Ltd are happy to help. We can also carry out all aspects of woodworm prevention and treatment for you.

Contact Danford Brewer and Ives today to discuss any woodworm problems at your property.

Internal Solid Wall Installation Costs and Savings

Eight Causes of Damp on Internal Walls

Damp is a common problem in properties across the country. If left untreated, damp on internal walls can cause serious problems to your home.

There are three major types of damp that you could find inside your property: rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation. All three have varying causes and treatments, but knowing the underlying problems that can lead to them will help you keep damp out of your home in the long term.

So, what are the most common causes of damp on internal walls?

1. Your Damp Proof Course Is Broken

Modern homes have a damp proof course (or DPC), which is designed to keep water from rising up from the ground and getting into the walls of your home. A damp proof course can be made of plastic, but more modern (and effective) DPCs are chemical substances injected into the walls.

A damp proof course is there to stop rising damp from affecting your home. Rising damp occurs when water from outside gets into the walls and begins moving upwards. This occurs if your damp proof course is broken. Rising damp can cause serious structural problems if it begins to affect large areas of your property.

2. Your Home Has No Damp Proof Course

Modern houses are fitted with damp proof coursing as standard, as it’s the most effective barrier against rising damp. However, older houses (houses which are a hundred years old or more) were never fitted with damp proofing and may never have been upgraded to include it.

If you have an old home, it’s good practice to investigate whether there’s a damp proof course or not. If not, you should consider fitting one for long-term damp proofing.

3. Faulty Structures

For damp to occur, there needs to be a source of water or moisture. Often, this water accidentally seeps into your home and begins affecting internal walls when it leaks through faulty building structures (what we call penetrating damp).

If there are broken tiles on your roof, cracks in the walls, broken windows, doors, or any other number of faults with the structure of your home, then penetrating damp can occur when water begins to get through.

4. Leaking Pipes and Faulty Plumbing

One major cause of damp inside your home is leaking pipes, usually due to faulty plumbing. While you’ll notice a major leak quickly, the worst culprits are the small leaks that often go unnoticed for some time.

These small leaks build up over time and cause damp in walls and timbers. This weakens the walls, damages the plastering and, in severe cases, could even cause collapse.

5. Broken or Overloaded Gutters

Your outside guttering can also cause major damp problems if it’s not in working order. Gutters are there to channel rainwater away from the walls of your home, but if they’re blocked or broken, water builds up and can’t be dispersed.

Instead of being channelled away, rainwater seeps into the roof or walls, or pools on the floor and seeps in through the groundwork. Broken gutters need to be fixed, and kept clear of debris throughout the year.

6. Lack of Ventilation

One of the most basic causes of damp on internal walls is a lack of ventilation. If there’s a build-up of moisture in the air inside, this causes condensation (particularly in winter).

Condensation is a mild form of damp, but it still causes problems if left untreated. You can fix the lack of ventilation by leaving windows open after hot showers or by setting up a dehumidifier.

7. Cold Spots Lead to Condensation

Cold spots in your home can cause condensation and resulting damp problems. These cold spots cause condensation when hot air hits them.

While some cold spots can be removed through proper ventilation, serious cold spots are caused by cracks or gaps in the walls that let in cold air from outside.

8. Cement Rendering Causes Cracks

Cracks are a major source of moisture inside the home, which can lead to penetrating damp or condensation.

In modern homes, one of the biggest offenders is the cement rendering on your walls. This common building material tends to crack over time, leaving you with gaps and cavities that let water seep inside.

Danford Brewer & Ives has been providing damp proofing and prevention services to homeowners in Yorkshire, Teesside and North East England for decades. We’re happy to provide further information on the possible causes of damp in your home and explain how our team can fix it.

Please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.

Cavity wall tie replacement

What Is Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Cavity wall ties are the unseen ties that hold the walls of your home together. These metal rods, or strips, are an essential feature of your home’s structure. There isn’t a building standing that doesn’t need cavity wall ties for support!

But while cavity wall ties might be the last things on your mind, cavity wall tie failure is an increasingly common problem in UK homes. And broken or damaged cavity wall ties can lead to disastrous structural consequences for your house.

We asked our experts to explain what cavity wall tie failure is and how you can spot it.

What Are Cavity Wall Ties?

Cavity wall ties are simple metal rods or strips that play a surprisingly important role in the structure of your home.

Your home has two layers of the wall: an inner and an outer wall. The space in between is the wall cavity, which is essential for insulation. For support, these two layers are held together using cavity wall ties, which connect through the space between the walls.

Cavity wall ties are made from different materials, but the most common are metals or metal alloys, with zinc and steel being popular choices. If these cavity wall ties fail, the structure of the wall becomes compromised.

What Is Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Cavity wall tie failure occurs when the worst-case scenario happens, and the cavity wall ties holding the two layers together collapse and fail.

The main reason for this failure is prolonged corrosion. Because they’re primarily produced from metal, the cavity wall ties are susceptible to rusting and corrosion when water gets into the cavity or seeps into the walls.

Cavity wall ties are coated in a protective, anti-corrosive layer before being installed, but this doesn’t last forever.

Unfortunately, it’s a natural process that can only be slowed down, not eliminated. Heavy rainfall, flooding, or leaks can all speed the process up.

Other reasons for failure include bad building work, loose brickwork, or loose mortar, which all affect the stability of the wall and can loosen the cavity wall ties. Because they’re supports, the builders may not have calculated the required number of cavity wall ties for the load, leading to extra pressure and stress, and eventually failure.

What Happens When Cavity Wall Ties Fail?

Cavity wall tie failure can have serious effects on your home. Because they’re required for structural stability, failed wall ties can lead to the outright collapse of an outer wall if they aren’t replaced.

While this is rare, it does happen and it generally occurs when multiple wall ties fail simultaneously or when the problem is ignored by the homeowner.

While wall collapses are rare, cavity wall tie failure can also lead to cracks in the masonry, damaged brickwork and problems with other parts of the house, such as the roof, when walls begin to shift or buckle.

Cracks or broken brickwork can lead to problems with ventilation, causing knock-on effects that lead to excess condensation. Water can seep in through the walls, which not only causes more corrosion and more wall ties to fail, but can cause damp or mould internally.

All of these problems not only cost time and money to repair, but are hazardous to human health and a danger to the occupants.

How Can I Spot Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Cavity wall tie failure can have disastrous consequences in the long term, so it’s important to spot problems early and act fast to replace broken ties where necessary.

Because cavity wall ties are hidden away between the inner and outer walls, it can be difficult to spot these signs. For this reason, if you suspect you might be experiencing cavity wall tie failure, it’s good practice to call in a professional for an assessment.

If you notice any of the following problems or signs, then it’s time to request a survey:

● Horizontal cracks in the mortar or bricks if cavity wall ties expand due to rusting.

● Walls start to bulge outwards if cavity wall ties have broken due to prolonged corrosion.

● Broken window ledges or frames.

● Collapse (the most serious sign).

How We Can Help

If you think your cavity wall ties are failing, contact the team at Danford, Brewer & Ives for more information. We offer a cavity wall tie replacement service that can save your home from long-term damage.

Please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.

how to treat woodworm infestation

How to Treat Woodworm

Woodworm can be a nightmare for homeowners, particularly if you don’t notice the problem until they’ve bored their way right through your timbers!

If left untreated, woodworm infestations can lead to disastrous structural damage and expensive repairs, but there are ways to identify and treat woodworm before it gets to this stage.

We asked our experts at Danford, Brewer & Ives to explain the best ways to identify and fight an infestation. From identifying woodworm boreholes to surveying your timbers, here are our top ten tips for treating woodworm.

1. Woodworm Are the Larvae of Beetles

Our surveyors commonly find that homeowners don’t know what woodworm look like, or even what they actually are. It’s a common problem, but there’s no shame in not knowing what woodworm are.

The confusion starts with the name, because woodworm aren’t actually worms. Woodworm aren’t even insects, at least not fully grown ones. Woodworm are the larvae of a beetle. Different species of beetle lay eggs, and these eggs hatch into larvae, which then burrow their way into timbers and wood in search of shelter and sustenance. The woodworm hatch into fully-fledged beetles later in their lifecycle.

Understanding what woodworm are helps us to understand where they live and what we need to look for. If you find lots of beetles in your property, then you’ve probably got woodworm.

2. Woodworm Love Timbers

Although they aren’t actually worms, woodworm are found in timbers (so at least one part of the name is correct!). Beetles lay their eggs on the outside of wood or timber, and the larvae burrow their way into those timbers.

Woodworm are searching for food as they burrow and they find this in the form of cellulose, which is present in timbers. In particular, woodworm prefer damp timbers, as damp timber is much easier for them to bore through in comparison to solid timber.

If you’re hunting woodworm in your home, you should start by searching for damp or mouldy timbers on your property.

3. Woodworms Live for Years

Woodworm have a surprisingly long lifespan, and they can spend as many as five years digging holes through your timbers before they hatch into fully-fledged beetles.

It’s important to know that woodworm can be a long-term problem, so you’ll need long-term preventative practices in place to keep them out of your timbers.

This long lifespan makes identifying the source of the infestation difficult, as those boreholes you see in timbers could have been sat there for years before you noticed them. By this point, the woodworm will have moved on to fresh locations.

4. Round Holes Aren’t Always the Best Sign to Look For

The most common method for identifying a woodworm infestation is locating boreholes. These round holes are made by woodworm as they enter and exit timbers, and burrow their way deeper inside. While these round holes are a giveaway that woodworm have been in your home, they don’t necessarily indicate that there’s an active infestation.

Because of their long life span, these holes could be years old. The infestation could have passed or disappeared, or it could be larger than ever. Regardless, if you notice rounded boreholes, then you need to act as if there is an infestation. You might need an expert to help you find the real source of the woodworm though.

5. Look for Fresh ‘Frass’

One of the most important signs to look for is the presence of fresh ‘frass’ in your home. Frass is the unusual sounding name given to the droppings left behind by woodworm. So if you locate frass, you know your infestation is active and it’s nearby.

Locating frass by your rounded boreholes is an even bigger giveaway. But what does frass look like? It’s not exactly like normal droppings, but rather it’s composed of wood that’s leftover or been digested by the woodworm. This means that frass looks almost like sawdust, except it’s much thinner and finer.

Frass can form around the boreholes, but it can also drop down and pile up on the edge of skirting boards, underneath your wooden furniture, and in many other locations. If you notice an abundance of a fine, powder-like substance, then you could have a problem.

6. Woodworm Season Is April to September

Woodworm have a long lifecycle, but when it’s time for them to hatch into beetles, they’ll generally do this between April and September. This is woodworm season, and it’s when woodworm specialists are at their busiest, because this is when it’s easiest to locate and destroy infestations.

Woodworm start moving around and burrowing as they prepare to emerge from the timbers, and you’ll also start to notice more and more adult beetles appearing in your home. If you have an infestation, it will make itself apparent in some shape or form during woodworm season, but just remember the woodworm will still be there all year round if you don’t apply an effective woodworm treatment.

7. Establish the Extent of the Infestation

You can’t treat woodworm unless you know how far it’s spread, and that can be a tricky task for the inexperienced. Because they can live for years, woodworm have the potential to burrow deep into your timbers. They’re also likely to be hidden out of sight, especially if it’s taken you a long time to notice their presence.

It’s good to check parts of your home where timber are present, but that are hidden out of sight. This includes basement areas, floorboards covered by rugs or carpet, and attics and lofts.

If you notice woodworm signs in these locations, the problem could be deeper and older than you realise.

8. Act Fast if You Have a Woodworm Infestation

If you see any signs that woodworm might be burrowing their way through your timbers, you should act fast to identify the source and apply an effective woodworm treatment.

If left untreated, woodworm can cause serious long-term damage to your property. In fact, they might already have been digging through your timbers for several years before they revealed themselves to you.

Woodworm eventually eats through timbers, and this can cause important strongpoints in your home to be damaged and weakened. In severe cases, walls can fall down or the building could collapse, posing a danger not just to the home, but to anyone living inside.

Don’t ignore the tell-tale signs of woodworm; act fast and you can stop the infestation before serious damage occurs.

9. Call in Professionals if You’re Unsure

It can be difficult finding the source of a woodworm infestation or even discovering whether those rounded holes in the timber mean you’ve got an active infestation. Woodworm is not one distinct species either, there are many different types of woodworm and they might require different treatments to remove.

While you can apply your own treatment to the surface of affected timbers, you might not remove the threat at its source. There may also be hidden timbers infested with woodworm in places you never knew to look.

For these reasons, it’s always advisable to call in a woodworm professional if you notice any signs of woodworm in your home. They can conduct a thorough survey, identify the source and species of woodworm present, and start treating woodworm.

10. Prevention Is Always Preferable to Treatment

While woodworm treatment is an effective way to remove an existing infestation, it’s always preferable to prevent the occurrence of woodworm in the first place.

If left to their own devices, woodworm can cause serious long-term damage. If you need to begin treating woodworm infestations in your home, you could find that parts of your property are in need of repair once the woodworm have been removed. This can be not only time-consuming but expensive too, especially if structurally important parts of your home have been affected.

If you can prevent woodworm from becoming a problem, then you won’t need woodworm treatment and you won’t need to make repairs. A damp and timber survey carried out by professionals can help identify areas that could be susceptible to woodworm, as well as providing recommendations to help keep woodworm out in the long term.

Some prevention tactics are simple, including lowering humidity levels in your home and keeping rooms well ventilated to avoid creating the damp conditions that woodworm love.

Contact Danford Brewer & Ives for Woodworm Treatment

If you have a woodworm infestation, our woodworm treatment specialists can help. Danford, Brewer & Ives has years of experience dealing with woodworm. We can provide detailed surveys, identify woodworm, and apply effective prevention and woodworm treatment.

For more information and advice on treating woodworm infestations and the damage they can cause, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.


long term effects of untreated woodworm

Long-Term Effects of Untreated Woodworm

Woodworm can burrow deep into the timbers of your home, causing damage as they move from one location to the next in search of nourishment.

While woodworm are often unseen, if left untreated a small woodworm infestation can quickly grow, before causing long-term structural problems within your property. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to act fast if you believe there might be woodworm in your home.

In this article, we ask our expert team at Danford, Brewer & Ives to explain the potential long-term effects of untreated woodworm.

Long-Term Effects of Woodworm Infestations

Woodworm are small larvae laid by wood-boring insects that burrow into timbers in search of cellulose, which they feed off as they grow. Woodworm eventually hatch into beetles, but to do this they must first bore their way out of the timbers where they’ve established themselves earlier in their lifecycle.

Woodworm has a number of long-term effects on buildings, but while they are often difficult to spot, there are several key signs that your home might be infested. If you see any of the following effects of woodworm, you should call in the woodworm specialists.

● Small, rounded holes that appear in timbers and other woodwork in the home

● Frass - powdery dust left behind by burrowing woodworm

● Crumbling skirting boards

● An abundance of larger adult beetles in your home

These tell-tale signs are often not found in obvious locations, however, making them more difficult to spot early on. Woodworm can be found in basements or attics, and in other places that you might not check on a regular basis.

What Happens When Woodworm Is Left Untreated?

While these initial effects might seem harmless, over time these minuscule problems expand and become much worse, leading to long-term effects that could have been avoided if treatments were applied earlier on.

Woodworm moves from one timber to the next in search of new sustenance. They dry out the timbers as they feed on the cellulose, and leave behind a tell-tale trail of frass, as they continue to penetrate into your home. Over an extended period of time, there could be few timbers remaining that haven’t yet been affected by woodworm.

If left untreated, woodworm multiplies and bore their way through timbers and wooden supports in your property. A large infestation can lead to an enormous network of boreholes, which seriously undermines the timber.

What Damage Can Woodworm Do?

Woodworm can cause serious damage if left untreated, so it’s important not to underestimate the disastrous effects that a long-term woodworm infestation can have on your home.

Because woodworm burrow into the timbers and feed off cellulose, this can cause timbers to deteriorate and eventually collapse. While this damage could be superficial if it’s skirting boards or furniture that’s affected, if the affected timbers are found in important locations providing support to the building, then in severe cases the structure of the property can be compromised.

This is a hazard not only to the building, but also to anyone living inside. If woodworm have caused serious damage to a property, then it’s going to be an expensive and time-consuming (but necessary) effort making the property structurally sound again. Affected timbers would need to be taken out and replaced, and treatments laid down to ensure the infestation can be destroyed.

If woodworm infestations are caught before they start to cause long-term damage to the structure of a building, then treatments are much quicker and much more cost-effective.

Woodworm Treatment with Danford, Brewer & Ives

Different types of woodworm can pose different threats to your property. Different species also require different solutions, but it can be difficult to identify different types of woodworm and how far they have penetrated into timbers without experience.

Treatment depends on the severity of the infestation. Often, it’s only the surface of the timbers and affected areas that need to be treated to remove the woodworm.

To ensure that infestations are dealt with efficiently and effectively, we recommend calling in a specialist, such as our professional team at Danford, Brewer & Ives. If you’ve seen tell-tale signs of woodworm or the damage they might already have caused, then don’t hesitate to act fast.

Contact Us for Woodworm Treatments

For more information and advice on woodworm infestations, the damage they can cause, and possible treatments, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form to carry out a survey of your property. Our technical team will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your woodworm infestation problem.