Construction: How to increase the life span of interior woods?
Wood enhances interiors because of its warmth, insulation and elegance. The uses of wood in interiors are numerous including flooring, furniture, panelling, stairs, beams and carpentry.
In addition to its many advantages, wood is a material that requires maintenance and specific protection in order to maintain its aesthetic appeal and resistance. Interior wood can be subject to various attacks such as the invasion of insects with xylophagous larvae, termites or the development of fungi.
It is recommended to carry out preventive and/or curative treatments in order to increase the life span of interior wood – estimated at several decades.
Below, we will explain the factors affecting the durability of interior wood and the solutions to remedy them.
Factors causing degradation of interior wood
The most significant cause of interior wood degradation is the infestation of xylophagous insects, i.e., wood-eating insects. In France, there are different types such as :
- Termites, which are colonized in the soil and can penetrate masonry to reach the wood. Termite damages are so serious that there is a specific legislation about them.
- Other insects include wood-eating larvae, such as the capricorn beetle, the wood beetle, the lyctus and the syrex. Mature beetles are harmless and short-lived, but the larvae eat wood for years until they metamorphose into adults.
It is necessary to protect the interior wood with a preservative treatment beforehand in order to prevent these pests from damaging the wood’s durability.
The other main cause of interior wood degradation is the infestation of wood-eating fungi. They are categorized into three types of molds: cubic rot, fibrous rot and soft rot. Wood-rotting fungi thrive in environments exposed to high humidity, warm temperatures and poor ventilation. Wood destroyers, the emergence of fungi jeopardizes the solidity of the structure and requires a fungicide treatment that is adapted according to the type of mold.
How to increase the life span of interior woods?
We recommend that you regularly check the interior wood (frame, doors and windows, floors, etc.) for any infestation of wood-eating insects, termites or fungi.
If any insect or fungus traces are noticeable, it is necessary to start a curative treatment quickly to avoid any further wood degradation.
It is recommended to use an insecticide – in case of insect infestation – and a fungicide – in case of fungus infestation – to protect staircase woodwork and wooden furniture. These products can be used to treat interior wood in depth by carrying out a preventive and/or curative treatment. The interior wood treatment professional shall apply the product to a rough surface, which has been cleared of all previous products and free of dust to ensure its effectiveness.
Preventive treatment of wood frames is usually done prior to construction, but it may need to be repeated if the building is old. If mold or insects are spotted, it is important to call a professional wood treatment company. The technician will first perform a diagnosis and then treat the damaged surfaces with the appropriate products.
Groupe Berkem offers a wide range of treatment solutions for wood materials in order to meet the specific requirements of the building and materials market. In fact, the Groupe Berkem understands the issues surrounding this business sector and designs and offers solutions for each stage of the construction process.