Timber Preservation

Timber is a living material and is used for structural support in many homes due to it being resilient and long-lasting.

It is ideal for being used for roof support, door and window frames, structural strengthening and decorative purposes. Other advantages of timber are that it requires low maintenance and treatment.

It can, however, be susceptible to damage from dry rot, wet rot and woodworm.

It’s important to catch and resolve these issues early, as the sooner they are treated the less damage will be caused to your property and the more you will save.

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Timber Preservation

We look at a forest of trees and we automatically think of timber as a very resilient and long-lasting product.

Of course, it certainly is in its natural state. But once it has been cut down, sawn into a multitude of sizes, and treated with various products to make it suitable for a new life, it becomes susceptible to lots of different problems.

While the timber we have as part of the structure of our homes is generally low-maintenance and will last for many years, its lifespan and structural stability can be badly affected by dry rot, wet rot and woodworm.

But if this strikes fear into you, you can rest easier when you know that early and effective timber preservation treatment by us at Watertight Homes will minimise long-term damage to your property, and also save you money by keeping the treated wood looking good for years to come.

The Causes & Types Of Timber Rot

There are two types of this kind of infestation – dry rot and wet rot.

Dry rot happens over a long period of time, as wood spends years in dry, warm conditions. It has two causes: the area around it has been poorly ventilated, which effectively has starved the wood of oxygen, causing it to get too dry. Conversely, dampness can also cause dry rot, and in these instances, it is important to find where that dampness has come from, and nip it in the bud.

You might notice areas of the wood have become dry and brittle, or possibly even that it has a lot of cube- or dice-shaped cracks which you can pick out from the wood with your fingers.

Wet rot is a much more common cause of decay and damage to timber fittings, such as roof joists and exposed timbers.

The first signs of this are long cube-shaped cracks similar to those seen with dry rot. In this case, though, the timber will appear bleached or will be turned darker, depending on the species of rot involved.

As the name suggests, its main cause is high levels of moisture.

Once the source of the moisture has been found and eliminated, this usually gets rid of the wet rot problem, both in the immediately affected area and the adjoining timbers.

The third major cause of wood rot is a woodworm infestation. Woodworms will bore into a piece of timber and live and breed there until they are fully grown.

The woodworm will also feed on the nutrients in the wood to make them strong and sustain them, so until they are eliminated, your wood will continue to deteriorate.

We can effectively treat woodworm infestations, and help ensure that you never suffer from it again.

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Effective Timber Preservation Treatments

The treatment we recommend to eliminate your wood rot will depend on the type of rot involved.

In both cases, we at Watertight Homes can treat the problem using state-of-the-art chemicals and application techniques. This may take a while to be fully effective, but will result in the problem being nipped in the bud, and stabilised to a degree where we can recommend further steps to replace the damaged wood.

For a case of woodworm, we will apply a liquid insecticide to the affected area. But if a severe infestation is found, the rot-afflicted timbers may need to be cut out and replaced.

If you have any problems related to timber preservation, it can affect your home’s comfort as well as its value. So get in touch with us at Watertight Homes as soon as you spot any of the signs we have outlined, and we will make an appointment to come and carry out a thorough, detailed investigation. This will include recommendations for what treatment/s is/are needed, along with an estimate of the cost.

rising damp treatment

penetrating damp

wall ties & structural repair

cavity wall tie replacement

basement waterproofing

basement conversions


rot treatment

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Timber Preservation Treatment FAQs

If you are buying softwood timber for use outside from a specialist supplier, they could well have already had the wood treated, so that it will last longer.

You should ask the outlet from where you or your contractor bought the wood if you’re unsure.

Yes, a number of common wood treatments are certified as being safe for garden applications such as raised beds or boxes. Very small amounts of the preservatives may leach from the wood and into the soil over time, but they will cause a health or safety hazard.

To alleviate any concerns about preservatives migrating into the plants, place plastic sheeting between the preserved wood and the adjoining soil. A report by Oregon State University on the use of preserved wood for garden boxes found that vegetables grown in soil into which copper from such preservation treatments had seeped were still safe to eat, provided the foliage, roots and tubers were completely removed before preparing and cooking.

Preserved wood is a good environmental choice compared to products such as plastic and plastic composites, galvanised steel, and concrete. Life-cycle assessments of both preserved wood and alternative products show that timber preservation results in a product that is superior in terms of the greenhouse gases created and water used in its manufacture, and overall ecological impact. In these areas, the treated wood fared better than all alternative materials studied.

Your home could be in need of timber preservation to help the vital wooden parts of its structure last longer. So if you see any of the signs we’ve listed above, contact us at Watertight Homes straight away, and we will arrange for a member of our survey team to visit you and prepare a report detailing what we think you should do next.

We have over 19 years of experience and specialise in a number of aspects of the waterproofing industry as well as timber preservation.

Watertight Homes are damp proofing specialists based in Leeds. We also operate in Manchester and throughout the rest of Yorkshire, so whether it’s West Yorkshire, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Harrogate or Halifax, don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free survey and quote.

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