Timber buildings, whether they are a home of a commercial property, often have an irresistible charm. There’s something about wood, its look and its texture which creates a traditional charm when it’s used in buildings.

Many home or property buyers will place extra value on the attractiveness of wooden structural beams and whilst there’s no doubt that they add something unique, buildings relying on timber support can also be vulnerable to damage. In this guide we want to look at a few of the most common threats to wood when used in property development, helping you keep on top of potential issues your timber property could face. Whether you’re an experienced homeowner or a first-time buyer, these tips will help keep you in-the-know and with any luck, save on expensive repair jobs in the future.



Woodworm is one of the most common issues that homeowners will face and can affect all manner of different types of wood. Woodworm is the name given to a variety of wood-boring beetle larvae which feed off wet timber to absorb the moisture during their growth process. Adult beetles bore into the moist timber and lay their eggs within, giving the larvae the perfect space to hatch, gain the nutrients they need and then exit the wood by boring out when they become adults. The consumption of the wood leaves it structurally weak, a real issue when it’s affecting structural supports for your home or property.

The most common signs of woodworm are the small exit holes that these beetles make when leaving the timber surface. Unfortunately, this sign is only visible after the damage has already been done, so also keep an eye out for frass (sawdust left from the beetles boring through the wood) and scratching noises within the timber’s surface – especially at night.

There is plenty to learn more about woodworm, including how the different beetles require different treatments and other subtle ways to identify any issues. The most important point to remember is that woodworm infestations only occur in moist wood, so keep your timber dry and you should be fine.

Wet Rot, Dry Rot and Fungus

Just as you might see mushrooms growing on trees, there are fungi which can grow and feed off timber in your property too. Wet rot and dry rot are the most common fungal threats, each occurring in slightly different circumstances and requiring different moisture levels. Their effects are fairly similar in that they cause ugly fungal build ups and break down the timber they are attached too, resulting in a brittle and structurally weak wood which can lead to expensive repair work.

Combatting fungal threats is a complex issue. Depending on where the wood is, what its purpose is and what type of fungus you are facing, treatments can vary in specification. In some cases, it could be safer to simply replace the wood instead, rather than risk it continuing in a slightly weakened state.

Again, keeping timber dry and out of the elements will reduce your risk of encountering fungal issues. As with all home repairs, if unsure, always consult an expert before acting.



Finally, it’s essential to keep in mind the threat that termites present.

Termites, as well as potentially causing allergic reactions and triggering respiratory health issues, can have a huge impact on the safety and structural integrity of a timber property. The small insects are capable of consuming wooden structures and flooring at an alarming rate, causing billions of dollars’ worth of property damage each year.

The reason for the huge impact of termite infestations is that they never stop eating, continually working to build their nest and consume more and more wood. If you notice a termite or two, be sure to do a full review of your property and call in some expert advice if necessary, it could save you a massive repair bill.

Keep an eye out for these risks and you are sure to keep your timber property a little safer from the elements. Knowledge is power, so do as much research as possible and you will be infinitely more prepared for the inevitable risks of property ownership.

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