Untreated problems soon add up
Duncan & Toplis is a leading firm of pro-active accountants and business advisers based in the East Midlands. Our team was asked to visit one of the company’s premises in Boston to inspect and suggest solutions for severe fungal decay attacks to floors, timber beams and staircases. During the tracking process, it was found that the severe outbreak of the true dry rot had spread to their neighbouring property.
Counting the cost
Peter Cox Area Manager, Graham Warnes said: “The properties are adjacent to each other but both problems were caused by severe moisture ingress from the roof structure which had allowed the decay to occur, and as a result, true dry rot growth has spread throughout the buildings, though one outbreak was worse than the other.”
Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans) causes major malignant fungal decay of buildings often resulting in extensive damage. It is able to grow through bricks, mortar and plaster with its strands capable of spreading the fungus to dry timbers. Fungal hyphae may clump together into a variety of structures known as mycelia which takes various forms depending on the surrounding conditions and they can fill a humid cavity as a cotton woollike mass, or grow across the surface of the timber as grey-white skin. If left untreated, it is capable of considerable destruction.
Peter Cox found evidence of dry rot in the attic rafters, floors joists, wall plate, dividing walls and party wall in these two particular premises. In one building it was also evident on a short staircase to the upper level floor and on the ground floor it was evident to the party wall at the ceiling wall join.
Graham adds: “Unfortunately, both these commercial premises had a severe infection of dry rot and it has spread from the top of the building to the bottom. It was imperative that is was treated immediately to halt any further damage.”
The Peter Cox technicians had to remove the plaster to the necessary party walls and remove necessary floorboards, floor joists, skirting, architraves and door frames from infected areas. We applied a surface application of fungicidal fluid to the brickwork and wire brushed the surfaces. Holes were formed at 450mm staggered centres and fungicidal fluid applied.
Floor joists and floor boards were renewed and pre-treated and we ensured that all contact surfaces were coated with either a bituminous solution and capped or laid on PVC DPC membrane. All exposed timber was treated with our Peter Cox fungicidal fluid. All treated wall areas previously plastered had to be re-plastered strictly in accordance with our standard specification incorporating our DryWall Coating System.
Putting things in order
Graham adds: “In order to successfully eradicate fungal decay it is important to prevent further entry of moisture into the building and we advised the clients to ensure their buildings are maintained in a weather-tight and waterproof condition. Now, thanks to our treatments, they should remain in good condition for many years to come.”