Malvern residents urged to check for timber decay after winter washout - The Malvern Observer

Malvern residents urged to check for timber decay after winter washout

Malvern Editorial 20th Mar, 2024   0

HOMEOWNERS and residents in Malvern are being urged to pay attention to timber decay, after a winter washout has left wood vulnerable to rot.

National trade body, Property Care Association (PCA) has warned persistent rainfaill and storms through winter can leave wood surfaces exposed to high levels of water penetration, allowing damage to take hold.

According to the firm, while the issue can be resolved if managed quickly, when damaged wood is left untreated it can lose its strength, and in some circumstance even lead to structural damage.

James Berry, Deputy CEO of the PCA, said: “We’ve seen homes tackle some of the most challenging weather this winter, with wind and driving rain damaging the entire building envelope.

“Timber has been particularly affected.

“Water can penetrate into a building through broken roof tiles, blocked gutters and leaking water pipes, and cause damage over time to wood.

“Usually the affected areas just need to dry out, with the area where water has entered the building repaired to prevent further damage.”

According to the PCA, if wet or dry rot are suspected, then expert help should be sought to resolve the issue.

Wet and dry rot can start to emerge from hidden places such as under floorboards, leaving householders unaware for some time of the issue.

Homes which have been empty and uninhabited are also vulnerable.

Wet rot is typically caused by wood being in contact with damp masonry, with exposure to high levels of water over long periods leading to a natural breakdown process and is usually seen on untreated wood exposed to the elements, such as window frames.

Dry rot needs a moisture content in excess of 20 per cent before it will develop and is caused by excess moisture entering a property, with the filaments capable of spreading a considerable distance over and through masonry.

James Berry added: “It is important that the two types of decay are properly identified, as wet rot and dry rot can require different treatments.

“A member of the PCA can be called to advise on the issue to be assured of the right diagnosis.”

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