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Damp & Timber Services

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Wood Borers

Wood Borers

Wood boring beetles can infest most timbers in buildings over a certain age. There are many different species of wood borers that can cause problems, but the two most widespread and active are the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum) which normally affects softwood timbers, and the even more prolific Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) which is usually found infesting hardwood timber, particularly in older buildings like churches; over the years, Bensleys has come to the rescue of many churches throughout the Sussex area.

Bensleys offers a full timber preservation treatment programme of affected or infested timbers, using British Board of Agreement preservatives conforming with current COSHH regulations and of course, conforming to all H.S.E guidelines.
A furniture beetle
Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum).
Death Watch Beetle
Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum).
Furniture beetle damage
Typical Common Furniture Beetle damage to softwood floor joists.
Death Watch Beetle damage
Death Watch Beetle damage to a previously concealed oak vertical post.
Wet Rot & Dry Rot

Wet Rot & Dry Rot

Structural timber floor joists, joinery and features like windowframes and doorframes can be affected by different species of Wet Rot (Coniophora putteana is the most common) or by the more serious and prolific Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans is the worst culprit). These types of wood rotting fungi commonly occur where there is a lack of subfloor ventilation, plumbing leaks, water spillage or flooding; they may also occur as a result of rising damp. If left to manifest and spread, wood rotting fungi can cause substantial damage to your property. Bensleys offers a full range of options, including repairs, strengthening works and treatments and where necessary, the use of suitable preservatives. All timber and masonry treatment of fungi, conforms to PCA guidelines along with British Standards and COSHH regulations, to good building practice and - where applicable - follows current building regulations. Bensleys can usually carry out all associated building works and repairs as required.
Wet Rot
Typical evidence of the wood rotting fungi Wet Rot Fibroporia Vaillantii or similar poria related species.
Wet rot growth
Wet Rot growth, notably fruiting bodies (sporophores) most likely Coniophora putteana, affecting matchboard panelling.
Dry rot
A large surface Dry Rot (Serpula lacrymans) fruiting body (sporophore).
Dry rot growth
Dry Rot hyphae/mycelium growth and breakdown affecting underside of the flooring joists, with certain of the lathes of the ceiling still remaining.
Rising Damp

Rising Damp

Rising damp can occur in buildings for a number of reasons. The existing damp proof course may be failing, perhaps due to raised external ground levels which allow bridging of the original damp proof course; in older properties, there may not be a damp proof course at all.

Bensleys carries out all rising damp treatments including associated replastering, following British Standard BS6576:2005 and PCA Code of Practice.
Rising damp
Evidence of rising damp affecting an external wall damaging the decorations and plasters.
Damp stain
Damp staining from suspected rising damp affecting a newly painted wall.
Damp proof course
Subsequent to the installation of a damp proof course, first coat of replastering to the same elevations.
Replastered wall
Complete replastering to the same elevation, as per Bensleys specifications.


Condensation affects many properties and is a major cause of environmental dampness and mould within properties both old and new.

Condensation is particularly common in dwellings which are poorly heated and inadequately ventilated and usually gets worse during the winter months, commonly known in the trade as ‘the condensation season’.

Condensation levels may be reduced by the introduction of a balanced system of heating and ventilation.

Bensleys offers a full range of condensation advice and solutions, ranging from installing modern Passyfier condensation control vents, to fitting condensation control units and heat recovery units. Bensleys stocks the Ebac range of dehumidifiers, which can be purchased and usually delivered within 72 hours. Alternatively, ask for one of our handy leaflets which has plenty of advice about how to deal with condensation as well as dehumidifier costs. Should you require further advice, please do not hesitate to contact our office and one of our surveyors will be happy to come round and carry out a detailed inspection.
Black spot mould
Black spot mould (Aspergillus Niger) affecting the edge of the corner of a window ledge with obvious condensation forming to the surface of the double glazed window.
Condensation on window
Condensation on the surface of the single glazed window.
Stacks Image 1320
Black spot mould at high level to an external corner.
Stacks Image 1328
Typical evidence of condensation at low level to a corner, after removal of the corner unit.