Your property contains a large amount of wood- structural timber, mouldings, frames and doors. This wood is vulnerable to attack by both fungal diseases and insects. The main insect likely to cause damage to your property is woodworm – the larval stage of a number of beetle species.
Woodworm holes found in timber are caused by the larvae of beetles that feed on the timber. Larger holes on the surface of the timber are formed when the adult beetle emerges from the timber to mate. There are a number of species of woodworm, and the precise method of treatment will depend on which species is attacking the timber.
By far the most common species of woodworm in the UK is the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). This species can be identified by the small, round holes that are left on the surface of the timber (approx. 1.5 - 2mm diameter) and the "gritty" bore-dust that it leaves behind (showing up as lemon-shaped pellets under magnification). Treatment of Common Furniture Beetle is fairly straightforward. Any structurally-weakened timber should be removed and replaced with pre-treated timber. All surfaces of the affected timber should then be sprayed with an appropriate woodworm treatment, such as ProBor DB.
Other types of woodworm common to the UK include the Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufuvillosum), the House Longhorn Beetle (Hylotropes bajulus), and the Powderpost beetle (Lyctus brunneus). While the Powderpost Beetle can be treated in much the same way as the Common Furniture Beetle, House Longhorn and Deathwatch beetle infestations require more extensive treatment.
The main problems encountered when treating woodworm are identifying the species involved, deciding whether the infestation is still active, and deciding which timbers have been structurally weakened and need replacing. All of these factors will influence the type of treatment carried out (if any).
Important Note: Woodworm can cause widespread structural damage. We recommend that a survey is carried out immediately if Woodworm is suspected.
There are many fungi that can infect wood, these will cause various major problems, the main two being Dry rot and Wet rot.
Wet rot is probably the most common sort of rot that we see. In its basic form on windows it simply needs filler or new timber splicing in and redecoration. In its most severe form it can cause the floor joists to rot or roof joists. We had a trainee surveyor where the floor gave way in a pub as the wood was so rotten, it was in the top rooms and landlord hadn’t been in there for years!
Examples of Wet Rot Properties
1st Associated Independent Surveyors say: We inspected a pub called The Bitter End in Luton, Bedfordshire - such an apt name for a pub that had dry rot! The dry rot was so extensive it resulted in the company selling it on at a reduced price. The normal recommendation is to remove any timbers and burn them.
The appearance of dry rot looks like a cobweb/network of fine roots and they eat the inside of the timbers first and the rot needs damp humid conditions.
We rarely see dry rot but when we do see it it's not good news. It does have a bias towards older properties but it's still fairly rare. Pub in Manchester for golfer – had dry rot in the roof – so much it was excluded from the sale.
To the centre of this photo you can see dry rot.