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A woodworm infestation can cause a range of problems. Not only is the idea of an infestation bad enough, but the damage they can cause is a real problem. So, what happens if you have a woodworm infestation in your floorboards?
This could cause big problems if the infestation has been there for a while. They can eat away floorboards and make them weaker. They can also spread into joists and cause them to weaken.
Both floorboards and joists can break and collapse when woodworm causes a lot of damage. The cost to replace floorboards and joists can be high. Furthermore, if they fail there is a potential risk of injury.
So, how do you treat woodworm in floorboards?
The way you treat woodworm in floorboards will depend on the damage caused and how far they have spread. A small infestation can be dealt with using a chemical called Permethrin. You can apply this yourself or call in a professional.
If the damage is bad, then you might need to replace the damaged floorboards. If woodworm has spread to joists, then fumigating below the floorboards could work. You might also need to replace joists if the woodworm has caused a lot of damage.
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What Are The Signs of Woodworm in Floorboards?
There are several signs that could indicate a woodworm infestation.
You might spot fresh exit holes. It’s possible to find these all year round but commonly from May to October. The holes appear when the beetle chews its way out to exit the timber to breed again.
Tunnels in floorboards are another sign. These can be difficult to see but are paths through the wood that the woodworm creates.
Bore dust is also a clear sign that woodworm is present. This is known as frass and woodworm cause this when they emerge from the floorboards.
One clear sign is damage to floorboards. They might give way when stepping on them or feel weaker. You might also spot the corners or edges of floorboards crumbling too. If you discover crumbling, then it could mean that the infestation is serious.
Finally, you might spot dead or live beetles around exit holes. In some cases, you might even spot larvae, although they are rarely seen.
Should You Panic if You Find Woodworm in Floorboards?
If you find woodworm in floorboards, then you should find a solution quickly. It’s important to inspect the damage because this will tell you what steps to take.
If just one or two floorboards have experienced damage, then there is probably no need to panic. But you should look to treat the problem as soon as possible. The infestation could cause further damage if you do not treat the issue quickly. They could also spread further, so it makes sense to replace or treat as soon as you can.
If floorboards feel weak when standing on, then you should replace them quickly. If left untreated, they could fail and could cause injury to those who walk on them. The longer the problem is left, the more serious the damage can get. This can also increase the risk of injury and result in higher repair costs.
When you remove floorboards, you will also remove some (maybe even all) of the infestation. But even if this is the case, you should still treat the surrounding area and dispose of the affected floorboards. This will help to prevent another infestation.
If floorboards are crumbling or flexing under weight, then it’s time to act. It’s highly likely that the infestation might have spread to your joists. If the infestation has been there for many years, then your joists could also be at risk. This can result in structural issues and put your property and family at risk of damage and injury.
The Best Ways to Treat your Floorboards
If you spot a woodworm infestation, there are several different options available. The treatment will depend on the size of the infestation and the damage it has caused.
It is possible to buy DIY treatments that you can apply to the floorboards. You will need to apply the treatment to both the top and bottom of floorboards. This is because woodworm will exit floorboards from the underside.
So, it helps to determine the cost of treating all floorboards and the cost to replace them. Treating both the top and bottom of floorboards can take time. If you opt to apply woodworm killer, then the product should contain Permethrin.
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Treating the infected floorboards will only deal with the issue in those floorboards. But the infestation might have spread further. There might not be signs on other floorboards, but woodworm lay eggs on end grain or small cracks in the timber. These eggs are hard to spot, so you should aim to treat all floorboards.
If woodworm is found in one area, then it still makes sense to treat the entire surrounding area. A professional company will usually spray everything close by, where the infestation could have spread, but this will increase costs.
It’s important to also treat new floorboards before laying them. This will help to kill any potential infestations and prevent future infestations.
How to Treat Woodworm Under Floorboards
Woodworm infestations under floorboards can be difficult to solve. The main thing to work out, is whether the joists also have a woodworm infestation.
If you find a serious woodworm infestation under floorboards, it’s possible to use gas to remove them. This option can be used if there is no damage to joists. A professional will seal the area and release the gas under floorboards. This should kill the infestation and stop further damage.
If you have damage in your joists, then it will need to be assessed. The damage could be within the joist making it weaker and more of a risk. Weak joists become a structural issue and you will need to replace them as soon as possible. You should protect new joists with woodworm treatment to kill any potential infestations.
Woodworm in floorboards could cause serious problems, this can get even worse in damp floorboards. In other less serious cases, it could be a simple fix. There are several solutions available, but the right treatment depends on the severity of the problem.
If an infestation has not spread, you may be able to replace or treat individual floorboards. However, a larger infestation that has spread, will need a different approach.
All floorboards might need replacing. This could also extend to replacing entire joists, which could get expensive and cause lots of disruption
The important thing is that you spot signs of infestation. Then you can decide on the right treatment or solution to deal with the problem.