Damp and Timber Treatment for Sussex Cottage

rotten and infested timber

death watch beetle damage

cutting out rotten wood

wood paste preserver on oak

membrane and frame

We recently published an article concerning an intriguing renovation and restoration project being carried out on a beautiful 18th-century thatched cottage in Sussex. As the project is progressing, we continue to receive updates from David Cole, head of operations at the Twistfix-registered damp and timber treatment specialist Perma-Fix Ltd.

The neglected cottage home had areas of rotten hardwood timber, some of which had become infested with death watch beetle. The worst of the decay was present in the sole-plates that supported the internal walls, the wall beams adjacent to the plates and the roofing timbers nearest the the flint perimeter walls. The first step in attacking this worrying problem was to support walls and roofing timbers before cutting out all of the decaying and infested wooden plates and columns and beams, making sure that no area of rot or heavy infestation remained. This provided the base from which the timber could be renewed with pre-treated French-oak beams.

Once timber renewals were completed the old house was given a thorough timber preservation treatment.  The softwood timbers were infested with common furniture beetle, colloquially known as woodworm, and all softwood floorboards, jooists and rafters were treated with Microtech Dual, our professional-grade wood preservative that, along with a powerful fungicidal ingredient that safeguards against fungal decay, contains a micro-emulsion concentrate that effectively eradicates infestations of woodworm.

For the remaining hardwood posts and beams and purlins, Wykabor 20 Gel was used. This boron-based wood preservative penetrates deeply into the wood and offers an extremely high level of protection from fungi and insects, such as death watch beetle. Specially designed to be used on timber that is at high risk of decay and damage, such as purlins, cut ends, wall plates and joist ends, Wykabor 20 Gel is formulated to leave no stain or residue and can be painted over once fully dried and cured.  Where hardwood elements were hard to reach the oak was drilled and a highly concentrated preservative gel was injected deep into the beams.

The damp perimeter walls of the cottage, formed from brick-framed flint panels, were noticed to be affected by penetrationg damp in the initial survey. A dual remedy has been used to correct this problem, comprising both internal and external solutions. Externally, the concrete-like pointing between flints has been removed to allow for a deep repoint using lime putty mortar. This will allow the walls to breathe as they dry, at which point the next phase of the plan will begin. This will involve waterproofing the new mortar with Twistfix Damp Seal Water Repellent Cream. On the inside of the property, a large amount of old plaster was removed before walls were lined with an air-gap tanking membrane. A freestanding frame was installed in front of this membrane and rock-fibre insulation was then installed between the studs before plasterboard was fixed over the top to make the job good.

The beautiful old cottage home, built in 1732, is quickly being restored to its former glory through the combination of a professional, reputable and expert damp and timber treatment contractor utilising superior-quality Twistfix products. We look forward to seeing the project's completion.

For more information on the extensive Twistfix selection of renovation products including; basement waterproofing systems, wall ties, masonry repair solutions and much more, please contact us today on 0845 123 6006 or email