We thought we would do some more blogs on problems that can be encountered with period properties. One thing to look out for is woodworm. It is really important to identify a woodworm problem as early as possible, because otherwise if left untreated, it could result in structural failure of the infected timbers. So what is woodworm? Contrary to popular belief, there are several different types of woodworm beetles in the UK. These include the common furniture beetle, death watch Beetle, House Longhorn Beetle, and the Powderpost Beetle. The most common of these is the common furniture beetle. This beetle only measures about 4.5mm in length but can do an awful lot of damage! It attacks softwood species of timber, leaving little holes of 1-2mm which are the exit holes where the beetle leaves the wood. Unfortunately, by the time you spot these signs, the damage has been done. Another sign of an infestation is a fine dust known as frass, which is created by the woodworm as it chews its way through the wood. You may also see dead (or living!) beetles on or near the timber.
Many species of woodworm beetle like damp wood, such as damp floorboards, damp loft timbers, and old furniture. The beetles lay their eggs on the timber, and the grubs burrow through it doing the damage. They exit the wood after around three years, leaving the telltale holes. If you suspect that you have a woodworm problem, it is important to get it sorted straight away. You can contact specialist companies who will perform a woodworm survey to establish the extent of the problem, the type of beetle, and the treatment required.
As with most things, prevention is better than cure, so to woodworm-proof your period property, we would recommend that you get rid of any damp problems. This is something that we have done for many of our customers. It is also important that you keep the house well heated and ventilated, and if required, wood should be sealed with the appropriate varnish. Always check before bringing in antique furniture into the home, that you are not bringing in a piece infected with woodworm.
If you do find woodworm in your home. We would advise getting a specialist to treat it. We are always happy to quote on any necessary structural repairs so that you can then enjoy your period home. Take a look at a property that we restored after a problem with death watch beetle .