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Pendower Hall - Newcastle case study

Specialist surveyors from Peter Cox were called in to help refurbish Pendower Hall to its former Victorian-era glory. The 19th century grade II listed hall will become a wedding venue, conference facility and exhibition centre for local businesses.

Built in 1867 the building has served the local community as a hospital in the First World War, a school in the 1920s and then as a teacher’s centre before closing in 2002. After years of disrepair Peter Cox was brought in to carry out a specialist survey and inspect the property for damage to the timber structure and decorative woodwork.

The problem: dry rot

The specialist survey found evidence of fungal decay and insect infestation which can affect the structural integrity of timbers within the building, while damaging and destroying decorative timbers. The initial survey highlighted an extensive outbreak of dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) along with wet rot (Coniophora puteana) affecting several areas of the building.

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Evidence of the dry rot fruiting body in the roof timbers

The solution: timber repairs

Technicians performed structural repairs by cutting back the damaged joists and bolting on new sections. Roof timbers were also repaired by renewing the timber wall plates and rafter ends.

They also completed specialist resin timber repairs to exposed roof trusses. This involved cutting the roof trusses back to structurally sound timber, before splicing in new resin bonded sections to ensure the original timber appearance would look similar to when it was originally built.

An isolated infestation of common furniture beetle (Anobium Punctatum) in a second floor room was also found. This was sprayed and protected from further attacks.

All woodworm and fungal decay treatments are covered by a 20 year guarantee protecting the long term future of the building.

Chris Hansom, Senior Surveyor said: "Victorian-era buildings can quickly fall into disrepair without proper maintenance. In this case, faulty roof coverings, flashings, leaking rainwater pipes and poor pointing meant rainwater had penetrated into the walls. This raised the moisture content of the timbers built into and against the damp masonry. This allowed dry rot spores to germinate and grow in the timber, leading to the outbreak across Pendower Hall."

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Structural timber that has been degraded by fungal rot or woodworm can be repaired using a timber splice epoxy resin bonded with reinforcement rods, removing the need to replace the whole timber.

Dry rot explained

Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans) is a malignant fungi which can lead to extensive decay of timber. It will grow strands (hyphae) capable of spreading through bricks, mortar and plaster spreading the fungus to dry timbers.

The first stage of solving the problem involves removing the source of moisture from the property. Then infested plaster and timber is removed, and structural integrity issues are repaired. Decorative timber is replaced where possible.

A surface application of fungicidal fluid is applied to the brickwork and retained timber. Holes are drilled into walls and a fungicidal fluid is applied to each hole, together with a surface application to masonry. This is to stop dry rot from travelling back through masonry and reinfecting new replaced timbers.

All reinstated timbers that are in contact with, or adjacent to areas of brickwork that will not be re-plastered, received an application of Peter Cox Timber Fungicidal fluid. These rooms were able to be reoccupied just one hour after the dry rot treatment had been completed.

The treatment process is covered by a 20 year guarantee protecting the future health of the property.

Wet rot treatment process

Areas damaged by wet rot are isolated at the source of moisture, meaning less treatment is needed compared to dry rot. Once the source of moisture is removed damaged timber is cut out and replaced, including rafters, wall plates and joist ends. Wet rot treatments also come with a 20 year guarantee.

Contact Peter Cox

 If you think your project can benefit from our expertise in fungal rot control then get in touch. Complete the contact form below or give us a call on 0800 633 5712

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