Timber beetle treatment
and the BS 7913 standard

The newly revised standard confirms that reducing humidity is best practice when dealing with common timber infestations and fungus.

In the foreword of the newly revised BS 7913 standard, Mike Brown (IHBC Chair) notes that it 'serves as an accessible standard of good practice for works to older, traditional or valued buildings'.

The standard stresses that many timber infestations and fungal attacks usually result from environmental conditions and the presence of excess moisture, observing:

'High levels of moisture modify the composition of timber in a way that makes it more susceptible to insect and fungal attack. The moisture content of timber should be kept below 20%'.
'It is not necessary to remove timber that has been affected by fungus, because fungus becomes inactive when the level of moisture is reduced. In most cases, chemical treatment is unnecessary'.

The holistic approach now been endorsed by the standard is something many of our clients have already benefitted from via our timber infestation heat treatment. We are happy to see such pragmatic advice now being championed, and hope that it will reduce the number of chemical treatments being undertaken in historic properties.

Chemical timber treatment and BS 7913

The traditional chemical treatment of wood boring insects and fungus is far from ideal. It often uses large volumes of chemicals, which in turn poses environmental dangers, particulary to various species of bats; which are ironically very adept at consuming insects within roof structures.

Heat is far more effective at eradicating timber infestations, as it kills all life cycle stages of an infestation (including adults, eggs, larva and pupa) and can treat areas that are hard to access with chemical treatments.

The single greatest advantage of using heat treatment is that it tackles the common underlying issue that chemicals don't address; the presence of excess moisture. Our recent treatment as outlined in our case study from Gables Farm is the perfect example of the benefits of our approach

Our timber infestation heat treatment provides a practical, holistic solution to the problem, eliminating both the timber infestation and the underlying excess moisture that may be supporting it's development.

About the BS 7913 standard

The new standard replaces the first edition of BS 7913, which was published in 1998. As well as acknowledging the changes to conservation practice in this period, it also addresses key issues such as energy efficiency, sustainability and climate change.

BS 7913 | British Standards Institute

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To find out more about timber heat treatment contact us today


Trustheat Ltd - Company registration no: 09851520

Registered Address: Unit 2, Newbridge Industrial Estate, Pitt St, Keighley, BD21 4PQ

Image Attribution: Colin Craig - [CC BY 2.0] - via Wikimedia Commons