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Dry rot and timber decay: Don’t panic and poison yourself


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This paper first shows that timber decay in buildings is primarily due to lack of maintenance and building defects, allowing water penetration into the building fabric providing ideal environmental conditions for fungal and beetle infestation. Secondly, the paper sets out how it is very important that investigations are non-destructive, and result in the correct diagnosis and identification of type and viability of decay. Thirdly the paper discusses the author’s belief that the remedial chemical timber treatments stem from fear and a lack of knowledge of dry rot, and that the demand for 30 year guarantees for treatment results in ‘overkill’. The paper advocates that the environmental control of dry rot and timber decay and preventative maintenance are preferable to conventional remedial treatments. This approach is based on scientific, practical experience and successful case studies carried out over the last 33 years, and provides not only environmentally sustainable holistic conservation solutions, but also ensures the long-term health of building materials, health of the occupants and structures.1
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Keywords: dry rot identification; environmental control of dry rot; non-destructive inspection; timber decay survey

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Environmental Building Solutions Ltd, Passenham Manor, Passenham, Milton Keynes MK19 6DH

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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  • Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation is the essential peer-reviewed journal for building surveyors, structural engineers and other professionals concerned with building condition, defects, valuation, repair and maintenance.

    Published quarterly and guided by an expert Editor and Editorial Board, each 100-page issue – published both in print and online – contains in-depth, practical articles on building condition, defects, valuation, repair and maintenance written by and for leading surveying professionals. The journal provides detailed, actionable advice on the latest thinking, techniques and instrumentation available to the surveyor in the diagnosis and repair of building defects, as well as valuation and legal and regulatory updates - with no advertising.

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