FAQs - Berkshire Timber Preserve

Rising damp is water from the ground that transfers up a structure by capillary action. A wall in contact with the ground will become damp when ground moisture rises up it. This effect could typically lead to wood rot in skirting boards/timber floors, flaking paint, peeling wallpaper, salts and a tidemark effect.

Most types of masonry found in walls of a building will allow water movement by capillary action, although this is usually controlled by a traditional physical damp proof course (dpc). However, many older properties do not have a dpc in the walls, so where a dpc is absent, has broken down or is damaged, rising damp will occur.

Where this is the case remedial damp proofing work is required which may include the installation of a chemical damp proof course system. Sovereign Chemicals Ltd supply a range of damp proofing treatments including, Injection Fluids and Injection Creams, along with installation equipment such as Injection Pumps and Guns.

Rising damp also introduces contaminating salts into walls and plaster which will require the plaster to be removed and replaced with specialist damp proofing materials. Sovereign also supply appropriate Renovating Plaster and Render suitable for this purpose.

There are two main types of wood rotting fungi that attack damp timber in buildings, Wet rots and Dry rot. Dry rot Latin name – Serpula lacrymans can travel across dry areas made of any material to reach untreated wood to eat. Wet rots are confined to the wet areas only. However, areas of Wet rot that dry out can easily turn into Dry rot, as the dampness level falls into the range that Dry rot prefers. We provide advice to make sure that the diagnosis of Rot is correct and that we offer the correct chemical treatment for wood preservation and masonry (e.g. brick, stone, mortar) sterilisation.

All wood rots indicate a dampness problem. Damp in walls, floors and roofs must be tracked back to source and the cause of the damp treated . Rots are woodland fungi frequently found in houses and commercial buildings where dampness has entered, usually as the result of leaking gutters, downpipes, drains or roofing. They requires an initial moisture content of about 18% in wood, but Dry rot, unlike the family of Wet Rots, can spread across dry areas and across surfaces treated with wood preservatives. This ability, unique to Dry Rot, to travel outside of the damp area makes it dangerous to wood in buildings. You can treat masonry and timbers with wood preservatives to perfection, but a small pocket of Dry Rot can still be capable of emerging across the treated area looking for new timber to attack.

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.