Survey gallery and definitions
Timber is resistant to decay provided it remains dry. Inadequate ventilation and prolonged wetting as a reult of, for example, faulty rainwater goods, rising damp or poor maintenance diminishes this resistance, although the vulnerability varies between timber species. There are numerous wet rots some of which are white rots and some of which are brown rots. There are many fungal species causing wet rot. Some, such as Fibroporia Vaillantii attack softwoods others such as Donkiporia expansa will attack hardwoods, whilst other wet rots such as Coniophora puteana can attack both. The same remedial measures however are required for them all.
The True Dry Rot Fungus, Serpula lacrymans, (formally Merulius lacrymans) is a brown rot which attacks mostly softwoods and is significant for its ability to grow over inert surfaces and spread extensively behind plaster and through wall surfaces. Once established dry rot can quickly cause collapse of structural timbers, making correct identification and dry rot treatment imperative. Whilst properties of all ages can be affected by dry rot older properties are more susceptible due to the window frames, joist ends, wallplates, timber grounds and timber lintels being in direct contact with the masonry. The appearance of a fruiting body or a fine layer of reddish-brown spores may be the first indication of dry rot and exposure works are often required to determine the full extent of the dry rot outbreak. Such exposure works for dry rot may involve stripping plaster, lifting floorboards, removing sections of ceiling and removing skirting boards and architraves.
Moisture rising by capillary action as a result of the lack of or a defective damp proof course is called Rising Damp. Whilst effective control is possible, symptoms are often mis-diagnosed and costly inconvenient treatment over specified.
Woodworm is the generic term for all wood boring insects and although these insects are a dangerous pest which must be eradicated to protect your property from damage and devaluation, not all woodworm infestations require chemical treatment. For example, an active infestation by the Common Furniture Beetle, Anobium punctatum, or the House Longhorn Beetle, Hylotrupes bajulas, would require chemical treatment whereas infestation by the Wood Boring Weevils, Pentarthrum huttoni, and Euophryum confine or the Waney Edge Borer,Ernobius mollis, would not. Accurate identification of the woodworm infestation is therefore important.
Penetrating damp below ground
Waterproofing is the protection of structures against water from the ground.
Where the waterproofing is to be undertaken to a vault, existing or retro basement or cellar this is usually achieved by a Type A form of construction (barrier) or Type C (drained protection) or sometimes a combination of both.
There are a number of methods for barrier protection (multi-coat renders, waterproofing slurries, epoxy resins etc.) and drained protection (cavity drainage membrane, drainage tiles etc) and our surveyors have the necessary knowledge and experience to determine the best form of waterproofing for a particular project whilst taking into account the Client's requirements and the recommendations of BS 8102.