dry-rot

How to Stop or Prevent Wood Rot

Wood rot is a serious concern that not only damages the timbers in a building, but can cause hazardous structural problems within a home or commercial property.

There are two types of wood rot: wet and dry rot. Both types affect timbers by causing the wood to decay, and both thrive in wet or damp conditions. It’s essential to know how to prevent and treat rot before it causes damage.

In this article, we explore the best ways to stop and prevent wood rot.

What are the Different Types of Wood Rot?

The two types of wood rot – wet and dry rot – are both caused by fungal spores that are attracted to damp timbers where they find their optimal conditions.

Wet rot is attracted to areas of extremely high moisture content, and the fungal spores can slowly eat their way through even the strongest of timbers. Wet rot is isolated and doesn’t spread easily, but it can cause extensive damage if left untreated.

Dry rot on the other hand can spread throughout a property, as it rapidly makes its way through timbers. Dry rot needs much less moisture to survive, so spreads easier than wet rot.

How to Stop Wood Rot?

Both types of wood rot result in mushroom-like smells, so even if you can’t see the rot you’ll be able to smell it. It’s crucial that you act quickly before rot can take hold or spread through a building.

Wet rot can be treated with effective fungicides, which destroy the fungal spores. However, if the rot has eaten into timbers, these will need to be removed and replaced to prevent structural hazards. Because wet rot thrives in moist conditions, it’s important that any source of moisture is removed and that the area is properly ventilated.

Dry rot can cause damage more quickly than wet rot, and all sources of moisture need to be removed to stop it from spreading. Fungicides can be used to treat and kill existing spores, as well as preventing others from spreading. However once the rot has taken hold, timbers often need to be removed and replaced to ensure the structural stability of a building.

How to Prevent Wood Rot?

While wood rot treatments are effective ways to remove existing types of rot that have already taken hold in a building, it’s always preferable to prevent rot from spreading in the first place.

Dry and wet rot treatments can be very disruptive, particularly if the rot has begun to spread through important timbers and supports in the home. Supporting timbers may need to be removed and replaced, or else they can become a structural health and safety hazard.

These invasive and intense treatments are much more expensive than prevention techniques. Homeowners can prevent rot from taking hold through adequate ventilation, preventing the build-up of moisture on wooden surfaces, and applying fungicidal wood rot treatments that prevent rot from spreading.

Get More Information on Wood Rot Treatments

For more information and advice on how to stop and prevent wood rot, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced professionals will be on hand with expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.


Woodworm Infestation Treatment

How Long Does Woodworm Treatment Last?

Woodworm infestations can cause serious damage to the timbers in your home, wreaking havoc across wooden furniture or burying their way deep into important wooden supports.

Serious structural damage is a major health and safety hazard, so it’s vital to have any woodworm infestation swiftly treated by a professional.

But what does woodworm infestation treatment involve and how long does a treatment last? In this article, we explain how long woodworm treatments take to apply and how long they stay effective.

What Does Woodworm Treatment Involve?

Woodworm is a term that’s used to describe a range of woodworm species that burrow deep into timbers. Woodworm larvae leave behind distinctive trails as they dig their way into timbers searching for cellulose. Eventually, those tiny holes can lead to dangerous structural instability if left untreated.

Woodworm first need to be located and identified by a professional, before a woodworm treatment is selected and applied. Treatments vary depending on the species and the extent of the infestation. If woodworm are only present at surface level, surface sprays or pastes can be used. If the woodworm are deep in the timber, injections need to be applied to reach them.

The treatments are designed to kill existing woodworm in the timber, while also providing an anti-woodworm surface that prevents further infestation. For more details, read this article on how to treat woodworm.

How Long Does Woodworm Treatment Take to Work?

Woodworm treatments work instantly to kill woodworm, and eliminate eggs and larvae in the timbers.

If woodworm are present on the surface, then treatments can be applied quickly and effectively. Depending on the extent of the infestation, the treatment can take just a few hours to be applied throughout the entire household.

If woodworm have burrowed deeper into timbers or are located in less accessible areas of a property, treatment can be more complex but doesn’t ordinarily take longer than a day to be completed (although this depends on the size and extent of the infestation).

So, How Long Does Woodworm Treatment Last?

Woodworm treatments are long lasting and guaranteed to prevent the return of any infestation for years at a time. As strong chemicals, when applied correctly woodworm treatments are able to kill and prevent a return of any woodworm for decades.

In general, woodworm treatments are proven to be effective for 20 years, although in practice this can actually be much longer. The woodworm treatment creates a protective barrier, which prevents new woodworm from taking hold and laying eggs that can hatch into larvae.

For this reason, it’s an excellent idea to not only eliminate woodworm where they are located but to apply treatment throughout a household to stop any opportunity for outbreaks.  Remember, prevention is always preferable to treatment when it comes to woodworm!

Get More Information on Woodworm Treatment

For more information and expert advice on treating woodworm in your property, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced professionals will be on hand to help you with your woodworm concerns.


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


Rising damp on walls

How Do You Stop Damp Coming Through Walls?

Damp, moisture and water can all cause unwanted or even dangerous damage to a home when they start penetrating the walls.

Damp damage can lead to mould, wood rot and even the collapse of structural supports within a home or commercial property, so it’s important that your home is kept damp free and damp proof.

In this article, we take a look at the best ways to damp proof your property.

Does Your Property Have a Damp Proof Course (DPC)?

A damp proof course (DPC) is the most effective barrier against rising damp, a form of damp that occurs when water from the outside seeps upwards into the walls of your home.

It’s a protective, waterproof layer that stops damp from rising. Damp proof courses can vary but often consist of a simple plastic layer or a more effective chemical membrane.

Modern homes are required to have a damp proof course, however many older properties might never have had one installed. Damp proof courses can also break or degrade over time, leaving your building defenceless against rising damp.

To protect against damp, you need a DPC and you need it to be working. Luckily, they can be repaired or installed by a professional.

Are There Any Water Leaks?

Leaking water is one of the biggest causes of damp, and it’s often due to faulty or overloaded infrastructure.

Bad plumbing or leaking pipes can quickly lead to dampness in the walls, while blocked drains and gutters can cause water to flood through the roof or external walls.

Check your plumbing is up to scratch and that your pipes aren’t blocked, and you’ll prevent damp from getting into the walls.

Is Your Property Ventilated?

Damp doesn’t just get into a home from the outside; it can also be caused by internal problems. The biggest culprit is often a lack of ventilation.

Poor ventilation causes a build-up of condensation (particularly in areas where hot and cold air meet, such as the kitchen or bathroom). This leads to damp getting into the internal walls of a property, which can then lead to mould or wood rot.

If you’re struggling with condensation, then a simple solution is a dehumidifier. Often, it’s enough just to leave the windows open for longer, too!

Have a Damp Survey Carried Out

It can be difficult isolating the cause of damp in a building, particularly if there’s a problem with the structure or damp proof course.

For this reason, it’s recommended to have a professional damp survey carried out by a specialist. As well as identifying existing problems, they can also provide recommendations for damp proofing the property. After all, preventing damp problems from arising is always preferable to carrying out expensive repairs.

Contact Damp Proofing Specialists in Yorkshire and Teesside

For more information and advice on damp proofing your home or commercial property, 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.

 


Wood rot

How to Treat Wood Rot

Wood rot is caused by fungal spores eating their way through wooden timbers, be it wooden furniture, door frames, or even the structural supports holding a building together.

As timbers decay they become increasingly unstable and dangerous, leaving a major health and safety hazard inside your home or commercial property.

So how do you treat wood rot and prevent it from returning? In this article, we explore the best ways to treat wood rot.

What are the different types of wood rot?

There are two distinct types of wood rot that need to be considered before any treatments can be recommended and applied. These are wet rot and dry rot.

Both types of wood rot are caused by fungal spores eating through cellulose found in timbers. Both only occur in wet and damp conditions, as the fungal spores are activated by moisture.

Wet rot requires extremely high levels of moisture to survive, so it’s only found in incredibly damp conditions. Wet rot mostly remains static, but causes large amounts of damage when left untreated.

Dry rot requires much lower moisture levels to thrive, so it can easily spread through a home from one timber to the next. Dry rot can quickly cause damage as it spreads, and needs to be treated rapidly.

What are the signs of Wood Rot?

While wood rot might not be visible on the surface, it could be causing massive amounts of structural decay beneath the timbers.

For this reason, it’s important to be given a proper diagnosis by a professional who can locate and identify different types of wood rot that could be afflicting your home, before recommending the best course of treatment.

If you notice any of the following signs of wood rot, it’s time to call in a specialist.

● Musty or mushroom-like smells

● Growth of mould

● Soft timbers

● Discolouration of timbers

● Visible decay of timbers

● Areas of damp

How to identify and treat wood rot?

The exact treatment depends on the extent of the wood rot, how long it has been spreading for, and the damage that’s already been caused.

The first step is to identify where the rot has taken hold and the type of rot that’s present in the property. While dry rot can be very visible, wet rot is often hidden out of sight.

The most effective method of wood rot treatment is to apply a fungicide or chemical spray. This kills any existing spores and creates a protective anti-fungal layer that stops future fungal spores from establishing themselves on timbers. This only works however if the rot is on the surface.

If the wood rot is below the surface or has already caused extensive damage to important, structural timbers, then the only treatment is to remove the timbers and replace them. This is much costlier and more disruptive, which is why it’s so important to act fast when you suspect the presence of wood rot in your property.

Get in touch with Wood Rot Treatment Specialists

For more information and advice on how to treat wood rot – both wet and dry rot – then please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced professionals will be ready to offer expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.


Cavity Wall Tie

What Are Cavity Wall ​Ties Used For?

Cavity wall ties are the unseen supports holding the walls of a building together. They are an essential yet invisible element of building construction, providing stability and ensuring that walls don’t collapse.

Despite their importance, cavity wall ties are rarely top of maintenance lists for homeowners; most of us don’t even realise they’re there! In this article, we explain what cavity wall ties are and what they are used for.CAVITY WALL TIE Model

What are Cavity Wall Ties?

Cavity wall ties are metal strips or metal rods used to connect walls together, providing structural support to walls and to a building as a whole.

Cavity wall ties are placed between the inner and outer walls of a home (the space in between the two layers is called the cavity, and it’s there primarily for insulation). These thin metal rods connect the two layers together, essentially holding them up.

Given how important this sounds, you might be surprised to see just how thin cavity wall ties are. However they’re produced from incredibly strong metal alloys, with steel or zinc being the most common.

Why are Cavity Wall Ties so Important?

It’s always necessary for broken or damaged cavity wall ties to be replaced, because the role they provide is vital to a building.

Cavity wall ties hold the bricks of the two layers of a wall together, allowing the wall to stand as one firm unit rather than two individual sections. This provides an excellent level of structural support for a property as a whole, and stops structural instability or collapses from occurring.

Cavity wall ties also enable better insulation, allowing a building to be managed in an energy-efficient manner. They help to maintain proper ventilation by keeping the cavity wall space supported, which helps to avoid a build-up of moisture or damp between the walls.

What is Cavity Wall Tie Failure?

Homeowners need to look out for broken or damaged cavity wall ties that are the result of cavity wall tie failure.

Cavity wall tie failure can result in broken masonry, loose tiles and, in extreme cases, total collapse of walls. If broken wall ties aren’t replaced, the consequences can even be deadly.

While cavity wall tie failure can be the result of improper installation or poor brickwork, in the vast majority of cases failure is down to corrosion and rusting. Cavity wall ties are metal and therefore prone to corrosion when subjected to water.

This is a natural process. Regardless how well your home is damp-proofed, it can’t be stopped entirely; it can only be delayed. For this reason, it’s good to know what signs might indicate that cavity wall ties need replacing.

If you notice any of the following, contact a professional for a survey. They can identify the extent of the wall tie failures and recommend solutions for replacements.

● Cracks in the mortar caused by an expansion of cavity wall ties.

● Walls bulging outwards as a result of broken cavity wall ties.

Loose brickwork or, in severe cases, a collapse.

Cavity Wall Tie Replacement

Danford Brewer & Ives is a Ripon based company that operates in the North East and specialises in cavity wall tie replacement. For more information and advice on cavity wall ties, please contact our friendly team on 01765 804050 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced professionals will be on hand and ready to offer expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.


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.


concrete floor

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.


types of damp

What Is Water Ingress?

Water ingress is never good news for any homeowner, and it needs to be dealt with quickly to avoid expensive repairs in the future.

What Does the Term Water Ingress Mean?

Water ingress is the term used to describe any unwanted water that comes into a building.

When water enters a building from aboveground sources it is often called ‘penetrating damp’. It can occur anywhere within the property, including the roof.

‘Rising damp’ is the term used to describe water ingress that enters a building from ground level and travels upwards into the building, through porous building materials. Cellars and basements are key target areas.

What Can Cause Water Ingress?

The most common reasons for water ingress are building faults and defects. These can be due to the normal deterioration of building materials over time and the effects of the weather. Unfortunately, poor workmanship can also be a cause.

There are several ways that water ingress can occur:

  • Faulty plumbing – burst or slow leaking pipes
  • Windows – faulty flashing around the window frames
  • Roofs and chimneys – damaged or missing roof tiles or slates, or damaged flat roof protection, damaged flashing
  • Blocked or faulty gutters and downpipes
  • Walls – cracks in the render, damaged or missing mortar, blocked air bricks, damaged external pipework
  • Faulty or damaged damp proof course, no damp proof course (common in older buildings).
  • Flooding – there is a higher risk if you live in a flood plain

What Damage Can It Do?

Timber damage

Damp timbers can attract the fungi, which could lead to dry or wet rot if left untreated. These can be expensive to treat as well as causing structural damage.

Higher humidity levels can also increase the risk of attracting the beetles that cause woodworm infestations.

Masonry damage

Any cracks in the bricks, render, or mortar can let water in. This is made worse in freezing conditions.

Internal walls

Damp internal walls can cause mould and damage to plaster and paint.

Health

Damp and moulds are known to affect health by producing allergens, irritants, and toxins. The very young, old, those with poor immunity, existing respiratory and/or skin conditions are most at risk.

How Do I Know If I Have Water Ingress?

Building materials are porous making it easy for water to spread in the same expansive way that kitchen roll absorbs water.

The main warning signs that you should look for are:

  • Damp patches on internal walls
  • Damp patches on floors, especially in basements and cellars
  • Damp patches on external walls
  • Mould growth on walls and floors
  • Peeling paintwork and/or plasterwork
  • Hearing dripping sounds
  • Damp and musty smells

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Water Ingress?

The first step in dealing with water ingress is to prevent any further damage, such as using a bucket to catch drips.

The next step is to find the source of the water ingress. This may be difficult due to water absorption patterns or difficult-to-access places. You may be able to fix the problem yourself.

The treatment you need will depend on the source of the water ingress and any subsequent damage. There are several different treatments available and a damp proofing specialist will be able to advise you on the options.

How Can I Prevent Water Ingress?

The best ways to prevent water ingress in your property are:

  • Regular checks inside and outside the property for any signs of damage.
  • Check the render, mortar, and pointing for any damage, as they can often be damaged by bad weather.
  • Keep gutters, downpipes and drains clear from debris such as leaves.
  • Repair any damage as soon as possible, such as bathroom grouting.
  • Check your roof, chimney and window flashings for damage, especially after bad weather.
  • Keep your property well ventilated by opening windows or using positive air ventilation, and heating systems. These measures prevent an internal build-up of moisture.
  • Early intervention will reduce the risk of serious and expensive damage.

When Should I Contact a Damp Proofing and Timber Preservation Specialist?

There are no hard and fast rules on when you should seek specialist help for damp-related problems.

The guidance is that if you have a persistent problem with slow-moving condensation, signs of wood rot, or evidence of damp or mould on your ceilings, walls or floors, then you should call a damp proofing and timber preservation specialist such as here at Danford Brewer and Ives.

By getting professional advice and early intervention you should be able to avoid expensive damage and repair works.


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.