Climate change affects woodworm and dry rot

Warning to househoulds across Scotland


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The PCA (Property Care Association) has recently reported climate change could be dealing a blow to properties across Scotland. The PCA has been investigating how global warming could cause an increase in the cases of dry rot and woodworm in homes across the country.

They have revealed woodworm could become more prevalent without professional woodworm treatment - and timbers could come under attack due to bursts of heavy rain followed by periods of dry, warm weather.

Conditions for dry rot

Stephen Hodgson, Deputy Director of the Property Care Association (PCA) - formerly the British Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association (BWPDA), said: "Different climate models are forecasting different changes to future weather in the UK, so it is difficult to give an accurate assessment as to how properties will be affected.”

"Nothing is definite, but many climate change models predict that our weather will become more unsettled, with bursts of heavy rain interspersed with periods of very dry weather.

"Warm moist weather can provide the right conditions for dry rot. Heavy rainfall sees more water enter buildings and then the warmth can help it establish and take hold in timbers.

"If left untreated, dry rot destroys timbers - causing them to deteriorate and crumble - creating severe problems to a building's structure. In extreme cases, the PCA has encountered collapsed floors, staircases and even internal walls.

"Typically, cold snaps can be a control on its spread, but as the temperatures stay higher, this control factor is reduced.

"Depending on how the climate changes in Scotland, increases in the number of timber destroying insects such as woodworm would also give more cause for concern.

Perfect conditions for woodworm

"Warm moist summers provide good conditions for insects including common furniture, death watch and long horn woodworm beetles, which in turn could blight timber in the home. Again, bursts of cold temperatures can control their numbers."

Mr Hodgson of the PCA added: "As the weather becomes more unpredictable, the need to get expert help in building preservation is more important than ever.

"We would urge people to be aware of ‘cowboy contractors' offering a quick fix solution.

"PCA members, such as Wise Property Care, are well versed in the latest technology to counteract such problems and offer solutions which are designed to be as non-invasive as possible."

The Association's list of contractor members are all carefully vetted before being awarded membership - and are then subject to rigorous auditing procedures once admitted to the Association.

For more information on dry rot and woodworm

For more information on dry rot and woodworm related issues then visit the following web pages

Alternatively to speak to a dry rot or woodworm expert then visit the contact us webpage or call 0800 65 22 678.