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A man in white protective clothing and mask, carrying out damp proofing

Few people pause to consider the countless purposes for which timber is used in building. A surprisingly large amount is used to construct roofs, floors, joinery items and sometimes walls. Many varieties are available, each being selected for particular uses according to its characteristics, availability and cost. These timbers may be subject to attack by insects, chemical deterioration and, when it comes to damp, by fungal decay

ANCIENT PROBLEMS

TIMBER INFESTATIONS

A number of insects, mainly beetles, use timber as a food source and living environment. Some may cause serious damage to structural timbers. The adult beetles vary in size from 3mm up to 20mm and the damage caused may not be obvious to the untrained eye. In all cases of insects requiring insecticidal treatment, modern low odour water based non flammable chemicals applied by brush or spray and are effective in eradicating the infestation.

BEETLE ATTACK

Many properties suffer from a combination of rising and penetrating damp in addition to condensation. It is possible that the presence of one or more of these sources of damp may mask the presence of another. With the aid of sensitive electronic equipment, our experienced surveying staff can determine the cause of, and specify the correct treatment of, all types of damp.

DAMP

Traditional building practices in older properties did not always incorporate a damp proof course to restrict the upwards movement of moisture from the ground to the building fabric. The omission allows moisture to rise by capillary action to a height of approximately three to four feet depending on the type of material used. The moisture carries salt and minerals from the soil which are trapped within the plaster and brickwork as the moisture evaporates. These salts are hygroscopic and therefore attract atmospheric moisture causing further damp. The most obvious affect of rising damp is the damage it can cause to skirting boards, door and window frames and built in sub-floor timbers. Using the tried and tested method of pressure injection of non-flammable and odourless siliconate fluids or silicone emulsion creams, we can guarantee to arrest rising damp.

RISING DAMP

True Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans) is often referred to as the 'cancer' of a building. Despite the vigorous growth characteristics of this organism, we can successfully eradicate it using modern chemicals and expert knowledge.

 

The secretive nature of Dry Rot, favouring dark, damp, stagnant and concealed areas, often means the fungus has spread extensively before the damage is obvious. By using the services of one of our fully qualified surveyors, the risk of missing such a potentially damaging and expensive fungus is considerably reduced. Contained within our free survey is advice on specific building defects present at the time of our inspection, that may bring about conditions that are ideal for the germination of True Dry Rot.

DRY ROT

There are many species of Wet Rot, all requiring the same remedial measures. Other than True Dry Rot, identification of the exact species is not essential. Perhaps the most important measure is to identify the source of moisture and ensure replacement timbers are isolated from contact with damp. A specialist preservative paste or fluid should be applied to all timbers that remain at risk.

 

Medway Timber and Damp are highly trained to recognise and treat all varieties of damp, rot and infestation.

WET ROT

Many external building defects can allow moisture to penetrate a building fabric from blocked gutters to defective render. Our comprehensive survey reports highlight other potentially damaging causes of damp.

PENETRATING DAMP

Condensation and its subsequent mould growths occur when warm vapour laden air in the form of relative humidity move around the house with convection currents and as the warm air rises and disperses throughout the house it is attracted to cold surfaces of walls and window glass. When this moisture comes into contact with the colder surfaces, the water vapour condenses out of the air and onto the surface. The temperature at which this happens is termed the dew point; this will change with the amount of moisture (relative humidity) in the air and the temperature of the air.

 

At dampness levels above 65% a mould will begin to grow on the surface; this should be cleaned off straight away as it is easy for more mould to grow on to an existing mould. It is best removed with a purpose mould remover available from B&Q, Tesco or similar stores.

 

Mould growths from condensation can be a range of types: either black, green, white or grey and can grow on all types of materials such as plaster and painted surfaces, material, clothing or paper.

 

The drying of clothes on airers or radiators, cooking, baths and showers and even people breathing, all produce water vapour in the form of humidity. This humidity needs to be ventilated out of the property to limit or prevent condensation. It can simply be ventilated by the opening of windows, or the installation of a humidistat operated extractor fan usually sited in kitchens and bathrooms. An alternative method is to use a dehumidifier; this can be used to collect moisture out of the air when the problem is not extensive and confined to one room.

CONDENSATION

A wood boring weevil, common furniture beetle, deathwatch beetle and house longhorn beetle A modern farmhouse style property Front view of a modern house with uPVC windows and garden Man working in white hooded overalls and mask, carrying out damp proofing A large pink and white thatched cottage with ivy-clad walls Damp patches on roof joists

Find out how we can meet your requirements for cost effective, professional, remedial treatments. Call us today on

01634 375 030