How much does timber treatment cost?

Whether you are building a house or simply putting in a deck you will need to consider timber treatment – find out more about how much it costs here.

To ensure that any wood you use has the longest life span possible you may need to protect it against rot, mould and insects, this protection and preservation of wood is called timber treatment.

Why do we use timber?

timber treatment

Protect your home with
timber treatment

Timber is a great material and it is also the only truly sustainable resource for construction, so we should continue to use it. Wood is also extremely versatile and has been used since as far back as records show. Whilst some types of timber are very durable, a lot of the plantation grown softwoods that are used these days are very susceptible to decay if left to their own devices.

Why do we use softwoods then?

Large forestry companies tend to favour softwoods such as pine because they are cheaper to produce and faster to grow. However, even if we could afford to use stronger timbers for our building needs there still wouldn’t be enough sustainable supplies to meet the massive demands. Softwoods are fine though, as long as they go through a timber treatment process and are properly maintained, they should offer exceptional performance.

Softwood is also available in a pre-treated option, which is ideal for safety and value. This option is also great for the environment as those that are culled in a sustainable manner make timber construction a very viable option.

Why do I need timber treatment?

Most buildings throughout the UK use untreated timber, this can become infested with woodworm, or if it becomes moist it could experience damp or dry and wet rot. When these problems occur the wood loses its strength and in some severe cases can undergo structural damage, so it is important to treat your timber.

What timber treatments are there?

There are three main types of timber treatment you can use:

  1. Water-borne preservatives

Water-borne preservatives are a common type of timber treatment method, as this method is widely available and very cost effective. The risk you run when using water-borne preservatives is that the wood may swell which could lead to splitting and twisting. One of the main timber treatments is chromated copper arsenate, which leaves a green tint on the wood. It is applied by using a cycle of vacuum and pressure which is then left to dry.

  1. Oil-borne preservatives

Oil-borne preservatives are very toxic and have a very unpleasant odour, which means it is harder to find in DIY stores, which opt for more environmentally friendly timber treatments. Creosote is a tar-based option which used to be used quite frequently, however popularity has declined in recent years. Another oil-borne option is Linseed oil, however this only penetrates ¼ inch down, so it’s protective qualities are limited in that respect.

  1. Natural preservatives

Huon pine, ironbark and cypresses are types of timber that are naturally resistant to decay as they have very high levels of extractives. Other types of timber can be treated with heat to help boost their resistance to moisture and insect infestations; however this is considered the least effective timber treatment.

How much does timber treatment cost?

Costs obviously depend on the size of your house and the extent of your problem, but as a rough guide you can expect to pay;

  • Rot Removal: £1000
  • Pesticide/Woodworm Treatment: £600 – £1000

These costs may seem expensive; however it proves a lot cheaper than replacing the wood.

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