Dry Rot Treatment at Jennings Brewery, Cockermouth

Background to Case Study

Early last summer, Timberwise were contacted to investigate a suspected case of dry rot in an historical building located in the heart of Cockermouth, Jennings Brewery. Jennings Brewery was originally found in 1828 in the village of Lorton by John Jennings and his son William Jennings, who was a Malster by trade. The company moved to its current location in the shadow of Cockermouth Castle in 1874. The transition from Lorton to Cockermouth was primarily due to expansion, Cockermouth had a larger population with more opportunities to sell beer and an abundant supply of pure well water, which was used by the Castle as long ago as Norman times.

Prior to Timberwise’s involvement

From an intrusive survey that involved exposure works along the front elevation of the building, dry rot (serpula lacrymans) was discovered. Dry rot had spread and affected large areas of the structure including floorboards, timber beams, timber lintels, ceiling joists, door frames and window frames. The cause of the dry rot outbreak was the result of periodically ongoing external defects which had caused water ingress to dampen masonry and timber. The damp masonry provided the ideal conditions for dry rot to form within the timbers.  If left untreated the structural integrity of the building may have been under serious threat, which ultimately may result in the collapse of the building. It was essential Timberwise were to act promptly and efficiently in order to save this building from the destructive dry rot outbreak. As the inspection continued our North West Surveyor,  Graham Malpass,  found that the dry rot attack had become more extensive, progressing across neighboring building materials reaching  more and more hard-to-reach areas.

Through external defects, water has been able to penetrate through into the building providing ideal conditions for dry rot spores to germinate. Luckily we’re here to save this fantastic building to the relief of beer lovers across the country.

Graham Malpass, Surveyor

Our Solution

Following our detailed findings, it was agreed that Timberwise would provide appropriate remedial treatment to rectify the dry rot attack. Our technicians first priority was to remove any infected or decayed timbers that may have posed a threat to the structural integrity of the building. Following this, a masonry biocide was used to treat exposed brickwork. This sterilised masonry from hyphae and mycelium growth by the true dry rot fungus and wet rot fungi. This was then furthered through the use of a fungicidal paste and damp proofing membrane, protecting all masonry contact services. Finally, all external defects were inspected and overhauled by relevant trades.

Timberwise have been caring for clients properties for over 4 decades, and over that time, our client base has grown to help a diverse range of businesses. The licenced trade are frequent customers of Timberwise –  from established brewers such as Jennings and Sam Smiths to nationally recognised pub groups such as Weatherspoons. Our client record and the relationship gained from such projects, truly speaks for itself.  To speak to one of our property care team to find out how Timberwise could help your business please call 0800 288 8660 or complete the on-line survey request form.

Graham Malpass

Accredited to

Graham Malpass

Senior Remedial Surveyor and Waterproofing Design Specialist CSRT CSSW
North West

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