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Wood rot- the hidden risk below your floor.

Posted by: on 28/01/2019

Advice, Damp in Buildings

Wood rot affecting the floor timbers is very common and the most common cause of fungal decay within sub-floor voids is a lack of natural ventilation. It is essential that adequate ventilation levels are maintained to ensure a through flow of air below the floor is maintained to ensure that the moisture content of the timbers is regulated below the levels at which fungal decay will become a significant risk.

Simply installing air bricks may not be the solution, especially where the external ground level is higher than the internal floor level. Air-bricks can be installed telescopically, but this will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the air brick.

Mechanical ventilation may be the only realistic option to achieve the desired levels of ventilation and units such as the one shown in the photograph can be utilised to achieve this. This unit will extract air from dead spots (areas where air circulation cannot be achieved) and then disperse the air to the outside environment via the exhaust outlet.

I have recommended this particular unit to many clients (where conventional air brick installations would not achieve the required levels of ventilation) with excellent results. If you have any concerns with regards the level of ventilation within the subfloor void of your property, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to carry out a detailed survey of your property and recommend the most cost-effective means of protecting your most valuable asset.

wet rot and wood boring weevil due to the lack of adequate sub-floor ventilation The fine orange coloured dust it 'bore dust' which is produced as the woodworm tunnels through the timber.
Elevated moisture content of the timber can result in wood decaying fungi. The moisture content of the timber would be regarded as being to high and may lead to an outbreak of wood rotting fungi.
Maintaining a low moisture content is essential to protect the timbers from wood rot. I routinely test the sub-floor timbers to record the moisture content of the timbers.
A detailed inspection of the sub-floor is essential to determine the condition of the timbers. The joists ends built into the external masonry are most vulnerable to fungal decay.
Routine inspection of sub-floor timbers. Lifting floorboards is required to allow close inspection of the timbers in the sub-floor void.

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