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Cohort 2 week 3. Property Care Association Specialist Apprenticeship Scheme

Posted by: on 12/12/2016


Our second cohort has just completed their third week at the PCA training facility in Huntingdon. We covered a range of subjects in both the classroom and practical area.

In the classroom, we looked at the identification of wood boring insects, specific treatments requiredfor each species, wood decayingfungi covering both wet & dry rot. The students were taught how to distinguish between the various fungi as well as the appropriateform of treatment needed for each. Live samples were available for the students to visually inspect which assists in identifying the bore dust and particular damage resulting from various infestations. Our live dry rot sample was also inspected and discussed.

We covered the biology of many common timbers and the process of timber production from the growth of sustainable timber species through to the sawmill process.

In the practical area, they completed a number of tasks such as:

Removing a brick panel (setting aside the bricks for re-use) to allow for the cleaning of the cavities followed by reinstatement of the brick work using lines and pins to ensure a perfect finish. They were taught variouspointing finishes.

Installing new air bricks using both straight and telescopic cavity sleeves. This involved working out the correct height for the air bricks to be installed.

We tested various methods of chemical dpc installation and discussed the positives and limitations of each system.

We appliedfungicidal and insecticidal fluids to both timber and masonry to establish techniques to ensure that the correct loading was achieved and which products were most suitable in different scenarios.

And they were then taught how to cut an access hatch in a timber floor with the minimumof disturbance and damage to the surrounding floor finishes.

All in all a very varied 4 days covering a diverse range of subjects both technical and practical.

Written tests were applied after each classroom session.

The enthusiasm and willingness of the students to expand their knowledge continues to impress.

Timber affected by wood boring insect and fungal decay. The students get hands on experience on identifying defects affecting timber.
Removing a brick ready to receive the new air brick. The original brick is removed carefully to allow the installation of a new air brick.
Brickwork removed to allow cavity to be cleared of debris. The students are taught how to remove the bricks and set aside ready for re-use.
Replacing removed brickwork using the original bricks. Re-building the outer skin of brickwork ensuring a near perfect match to the original. This is only the second time the student has used bricklaying tools and equipment.
Telescopic air brick sleeve. Telescopic air vents are needed when the external ground level is higher than the internal floor level.
Air brick sleeved through the cavity Telescopic vents are essential to ensure sir floor to the sub floor void.
Damp Proof course injection lances. We test all types of dpc installation techniques. This allows the students to fully understand not only why some work but also why others do not work.
New Plastic Air Bricks Plastic air bricks installed 150mm above the external floor level. Plastic sleeves though the cavity ensure maximum air flow to the sub-floor void.
Internal view of the cavity sleeve. The internal vent is pointed to ensure that maximum air flow is achieved.

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