Damp Timber

Wood is an inherently durable material, resistant to fungal attack provided it remains dry. Should timber be exposed to moisture for prolonged periods the Damp Timber may become susceptible to attack by wood rotting fungi.

Wood rotting fungi obtain their food by breaking down the cell walls in Damp Timber causing a loss of strength. Where timbers have a moisture content below 20% (recorded using an electronic moisture meter with a wood moisture equivalent scale) wood rotting fungi will not occur. The moisture content of wood can be raised above the 20% threshold by any number or combination of things including design defects, building faults, poor or inadequate maintenance or condensation. Relatively low levels of moisture can be recorded in timbers where there are no obvious sources of moisture.

Moisture Content in Damp Timber.
Moisture Content in Timbers
These nominal readings are often referred to as the “Air Dry” moisture content and such timbers are not necessarily considered as damp or at risk. Where high moisture readings are recorded it is essential that the Damp Timber is isolated from sources of moisture as part of a successful repair or prevention strategy.

As wood is Hygroscopic (moisture attracting) it is important that Environmental Conditions are also considered. For example, suspended timber floors at ground floor level may be susceptible to the effects of sub floor Condensation leading to Damp Timber, possibly resulting in attack by wood rotting fungi and/or infestation by Wood Boring Beetles.

Protectahome Surveyors are experienced and qualified in the diagnostic inspection of buildings and building timbers. Where remedial action is deemed necessary Protectahome Surveyors are also able to prepare an effective and successful remedial/repair strategy, please Contact Us on 0800 055 6966 to arrange a Survey to be carried out by one of our specialist, and highly experienced, CSRT qualified surveyors.
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