An update on recent works

Hi folks! I find myself yet again in front of the computer to assemble another blog.

I hope you forgive me for the absence of blogs recently as we all have been extremely busy! I never expected this job to demand so much of my time, I am not crying about it I love this job to bits! The weeks just melt into months and life just seems to be an endless rush to get out of one area in the house to the next.

Let’s get stuck in!

The Saloon fights back would be the title of this part as we have unearthed some very worrying discoveries.

Just when all was going well, the floor was brilliantly re-laid by Craig and Martin, two of H&J Martins joiners and the painters had moved into the room prepping for the first layers of paint when, on the removal of a rather ropey piece of architrave in order to replace it…. wet rot! Pheew said I to myself, at least that’s not dry rot!

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Work then began to remove the window and assess the damage when we thought we should also check the window opposite, what state would this window be in? Well, as soon as the window was removed…Nightmare! DRY ROT!

Feeling all deflated and alarmed as to what extent the dry rot had spread or what it had affected, Dennis our fantastic Project Manager calmed everything down by pointing out from experience the best method is not to worry about these things as they are what they are and we will deal with it as it comes.

So I put on my surveying hat and inspected the said window to my amazement while the mycelium (the fungus) was all over the wood it had not caused as much damage as I expected.

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Once the window was repaired, our own joiners Patrick and Steven set about rebuilding the architraves and panelling. The hood was refixed more effectively and securely whereby previously it was only held up by 2 nails and the architrave!

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Now you’re asking, what is dry rot and what’s the difference between it and wet rot?

Dry rot and wet rot both destroy wood and the destructiveness of the two funguses can be amazing, causing all sorts of problems.

Wet Rot

wet rot and dry rot

  • Local to a source of damp not wide spread nor active in non damp areas.
  • If the source of damp has not been stopped the timber is wet and spongy to touch.
  • A black fungus can appear on the wood with a white line towards the edge of the rotting section.
  • If the source of damp is stopped the wood will be cubed, dry and crumbly but crucially not active.

Dry rot

dry rot

  • White sheets (known as mycelium growth) are often present.
  • An orange coloured fruiting body may be seen on the timber.
  • The timber will be brown in colour and will crumble due to dry rot feeding on the timber.
  • More destructive than wet rot due to its ability to suck moisture from the wood.
  • Even though the timber is dry the fungus is still active.

The best combatant against any rot is ventilation! 

Callum’s Window

Callum has been tasked with removal of a rotten section of timber from a window in the Family Room as it has succumbed to wet rot along the sill line. Again what I thought may be a simple case of remove and repair has morphed into a bigger job than expected. However Callum is more than a match for this window!

I pointed him in the general direction and left him to it, now and then he would come back and seek some advice but he had no difficulty in identifying the problems, all Callum needed was assurance.

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One more section to show you just what dry rot is capable of if left unchecked.

If you look closely you will see that the floor joists have steel bolted to each side of them. This is due to the dry rot having eaten away the timber which then needed replacing. The replacement timber needs this steel to make it stronger. The wall has had to be striped of its plaster due to the dry rot eating the studs behind, what you see here is modern skim finish.

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Well folks that’s all for now, I will be back again soon as we have a specialist conservator with us who is repairing some beautiful lamp stands (if that’s the right term for them).  Now these stands are not any old stands, they are overlaid with gold leaf! Whooo you might say so take a quick peek!

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All the best

David

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