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Timber Decay: Causes and Remedies

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Timber is still a most useful structural material, and is often a major component in historic buildings. It has many structural and aesthetic properties, as well as being an energy-efficient and renewable resource. However, many organisms utilise timber as a food. Excessive levels of moisture and humidity provide a suitable environment for a broad spectrum of decay-causing fungi and insects. The most common organisms destructive to timber in climates of moderate-to-high relative humidity are Serpula lacrymans (dry rot), Coniophora puteana (wet rots), Anobium punctatum (common furniture beetle) and Xestobium rufovillosum (death watch beetle). This paper discusses the remedial treatments of fungal decay to timber, diagnostic inspection and environmental factors favouring the decay of timber.
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Keywords: Diagnostic inspection; Environmental control; Fibre optic inspection; Remedial treatments; Timber decay

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1996-08-01

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    Structural Engineering International (SEI), the quarterly Journal of IABSE, published since 1991, is the leading international journal of structural engineering dealing with all types of structures and materials. SEI offers its readers a unique blend of short profiles on recent structures, and longer, in-depth technical articles on research, development, design, construction and maintenance. Articles are written by practicing engineers and academia from around the world and reflect the high standards of IABSE. IABSE Peer Review stamps are given to papers that have passed through a highly selective review process and demonstrate a significant contribution to the state of structural engineering knowledge.To recognise contributions of the highest quality, an Outstanding Paper Award is presented each year.

    SEI is printed in Switzerland; ISSN 1016-8664; E-ISSN 1683-0350
    Abstracted and indexed at: Web of ScienceSM; Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch); Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition; Current ContentsR/Engineering, Computing and Technology; CAB Abstracts database; INSPEC, CBA and others.

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