Seek specialist advice if you own or let a property with wood boring beatles or rotting timber: wet rot, dry rot, fungal rot, etc.
Older properties tend to suffer most with e.g. Death Watch Beetle.
The PCA, Property Care Association, can supply a list of accredited timber and damp experts capable of providing surveys and effecting repairs and restoration work.
Treatments involve gaining access or exposing timber by lifting floor coverings to access affected areas. Timbers are then coated by spraying with a combined insecticide and wood preserver. This is a dangerous job ideally conducted by professionals wearing protective clothing and respirators.
Properties must be vacated during treatment when fumes are toxic and for at least an hour following treatment or as recommended by manufacturers.
When conducting renovation work with exposed timbers this is an ideal opportunity to treat timber even when there is no apparent infestation. Such preemptive steps avoiding future problems and costs are low since access is often the biggest part of the costs.
Certification is only available through professionals – up to 30 year guarantees are provided.
Lenders often require sight of such certification before agreeing to lend or release any retention.
Wood boring beetles have a life cycle of up to 15 years – that is a lot of timber damage – and they do not live alone!; offspring number up to 60 baby beetles!
Habitats include furniture and property support timbers.
Woods include: hardwood, softwood and any damp wood.
Some beetles e.g. Weevils favour damp wood. Hence wet rot! Sub floor levels are naturally damp areas and made worse by blocked air bricks preventing ventilation and drying out. Weevils die in warm and dry conditions.
Dry rot involves fungal growth as opposed to beetles and when present must be removed one meter away from any trace of mould in all directions including adjacent plaster. Only then can the remaining and any new timber be treated. Ironically most dry rot fungi thrive on humid conditions. It is important to identify the name of the fungi in order to treat it properly to avoid it returning.
Causes include: damp unventilated basements, leaking: toilets waste or flush pipes and radiator pipes. If left unattended these could in time result in serious damage, particularly to older properties with suspended flooring and hidden cavities.
Carpet underlay when lifted can reveal the earliest tell tale signs of fungal growth decay (Mycellium, Sporophore, etc.)