Wood is arguably the most beautiful material we use to make and build things. It is organic, renewable, easily available and durable. It is common to find floors or beams in buildings that are 200 years old or more. Sadly, wood in building is at risk of decay because of wood boring insects. Luckily this can be prevented and we offer woodworm treatment to stop the problem.
Identifying the Problem
Presence of wood boring insects or woodworm in floorboards can be easily identified by an expert. Normally the first sign is audible creaking or crunching noise coming from a floor. As the insects progress, one can notice first holes on wood surface. It is common to see bits of wood dust appearing around affected area. The last and the most obvious stage of woodworm development is when there are numerous holes and extensive damage visible on the wood surface.
It is important to act on the problem as soon as it is identified. Not treating areas affected by woodworm would inevitably lead to infecting the rest of wood in the house. In addition to that, advanced woodworm damage would actually lead to wood elements disintegrating completely. Although at initial stages wood is still strong despite being attacked by wood boring insects, if it is left untreated, the timber would start falling apart and would have to be replaced, rather than treated.
Exposing Affected Timber
Once areas affected by woodworm infestation are identified, some floorboards have to be removed to prepare for applying woodworm treatment. This enables us to access not unly underside of floorboards, but also floor joists undearneath, which are in most cases affected as well.
The most efficient way of insulating a floor is by installing insulation boards in between joists. Insulation boards, also referred to as insulation foam board, loft boards, or rigid foam, are a rigid material, manufactured in sheets, to provide extra insulation within your home. Rigid board insulation is simple and easy to fit and come in a wide range of different materials, sizes and thicknesses, to ensure you can find the most suitable insulation board for your project.
We aim to apply insulation boards that are as thick as tall your joists are. This way we can make the most of your floor’s insulating potential. The insulation is held in place with wooden supports underneath. Although spaces between insulation boards and joists are very narrow, we still fill it with self expanding foam. This further improves thermal and acoustic performance of a floor and helps to hold insulation boards in place.
With subfloor prepared this way, our installers are finally ready to put the actual flooring back down. We can either put the old floor back and replace what was broken or broke during the process, or we can install a new floor. If we do down the second route, possibilities are almost endless. We can fit new boards that resemble original flooring, we can put down chipboard and install new floor on top of that, even parquet flooring.
Floor rebuilding would not be complete without applying protective sealant. Whatever is done on the flooring, it needs to be protected to last for decades to come. There are main two options when it comes to wood floor finishes and they are varnishing and oiling.
Floor varnish these days is the finish that requires the least maintenance and is the easiest to live with. It is one of these apply-and-forget finishes. Once it is down, you do not have to do anything with it. And once it wears out after years and years of usage, it needs to be sanded down back to bare wood and applied again.
Modern varnishes are very different than what most people associate with varnish. Modern products are polyurethane based (water based), they have low shine, they do not smell and they give you very natural wood colouring. Gone are the days of orange, mirror like shiny varnishes. Nobody wants that anymore and you would find that most modern floors or brand new floors you get in shops would be sealed with varnish.
The other type of finish is hard wax oil. That is a full name of a product that can be applied on wooden floors. There is a lot of misinformation out there about oil related floor finishes. Some people recommend using waxes or different kinds of oils, but these products are designed to be applied on furniture and decorative wood. Only hard wax oil is formulated to withstand foot traffic for years and it still has be to be reapplied at lease once a couple of years to prevent wear.