Published: Jan 2000
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The decay of wood materials in buildings due to fungal attack and the activity of wood boring insects is not uncommon. Such decay normally causes restricted areas of damage, but in some cases, the damage can be extensive and pose a serious problem. for this reason maintenance and repair are a natural part of a building's life cycle. The best way to restrict damage is to discover problem areas as soon as possible. However, all preventive work against damage and rehabilitation of damaged areas must be based on a fundamental knowledge and understanding of biological mechanisms. Otherwise there is a great risk of taking incorrect measures. Such mistaken efforts not only cause needless expense, but in cases of listed or protected buildings incorrect treatment can also cause damages that are not repairable — damages that may be more ruinous than the original decay that the repairs were designed to address.
Wood decaying fungi and wood boring insects occur everywhere where wood is used as a building material and can cause damage in most parts of those structures. The activity of these biological organisms vary due to microclimatic factors such as moisture content in the wood and temperature. The result is that damage that appears identical from building to building may actually develop very differently due to climatic factors. For this reason it is of primary importance to carry out a careful and thorough examination of all damage.
fungi, investigation, wood-boring insects, treatment
Senior Mycologist, Mycoteam as, Forskingsveien 3B, Oslo,