Woodworm treatment at a windmill in Canterbury

Overview

Products used:Microtreat Insecticide II

The first reference to windmills in England dates all the way back to “The Domesday Book” in 1086. Windmills are a striking visual feature of the Kent landscape and provide an insight into the agricultural history of the area. They are a physical reminder of their vital part in the communities they helped build.

This particular type of windmill is known as a “Post Mill”, named after the wooden post that the structure is built around. With many wooden windmills having met a fiery fate due to their flammable structures, this one in question has stood the test of time. Timberwise South East was called upon to inspect the windmill as the owner had a suspicion of a woodworm infestation. Timberwise were to inspect all accessible timbers as well as providing any recommendations regarding woodworm treatments and structural repairs.

Did you know?

Lacey Green Windmill is England’s oldest smock mill with wooden machinery dating from around 1650. The windmill was in use for producing flour until 1915. Some repairs were made in 1935, but by the late 1960s, it was close to collapsing. From 1971 it was restored back to working order by volunteer members of The Chiltern Society. 

Wet Rot

Upon arrival, Timberwise identified that the access stairway was infected with wet rot.  Wet rot is a natural decay of timber in the presence of high moisture. These wet rot fungi get their food by breaking down the walls of wood cells. Over time this leads to a loss in the strength of the wood. Any timber that is exposed to excess moisture will become an ideal breeding ground for wet rot spores. As these timbers were external, they had been in direct contact with the ground and the elements, therefore, subject to the typical UK weather conditions – lashings of rain!

Woodworm

It was evident that both old and inactive infestations were scattered across the timber beams. The internal timbers were suffering from a  Common Furniture Beetle infestation to the joists supporting the upper level. This appeared to be mostly inactive; however, re-infestation could have occurred if this area was left untreated.

Inspection of the large dimensional spanning timber beam revealed an infestation by Death Watch Beetle, with fresh bore dust indicating recent larval activity. This appeared to be deep-rooted within the shakes of the beam.

The windmill is certainly unique and comes with a number of substantial development challenges. This beautiful windmill was in danger of losing its structural integrity but fortunately, this customer came to the right people. It’s a building that the local community care for significantly. Timberwise is proud to have brought this iconic building back to life and protecting it for years to come..”

Timberwise South East

Methodology

Timberwise technicians initially cleaned down and prepared the timbers for treatment. The technicians then applied insecticide and fungicidal spray to the timbers, in doing this the spray absorbed into the wood for a period of about an hour and exterminated any eggs or woodworm near the surface of the timber.

Timberwise also advised that in the treatment of timbers, it may be possible that a few deep-seated larvae would escape the immediate effect of the woodworm treatment as a result of being below the limit of chemical penetration.

These larvae could subsequently emerge as adult beetles in three years following the treatment. In the case of Death Watch Beetle, the period of emergence may be even longer due to their long lifecycle. The active ingredients within the insecticidal fluid continue to work for many years; thus reducing the risk of further woodworm infestations from developing. Timberwise’s expert diagnosis, treatment and the long-term guarantee have given the owners of the mill complete peace of mind that the mill is protected for the long term.

Arranging a Woodworm Survey

Do you have problems with woodworm? If so, contact Timberwise to arrange a woodworm survey. Call your local office or complete the survey request form. For more information about woodworm and how it can be treated then check out our woodworm information pages on this website.

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