I have just completed 20 years with Rentokil, the last 10 as a Branch Manager, and there's not much in the realm of damp and decay I have not encountered! I have always taken pride in delivering the finest customer service whilst providing value for money.
The western edge of Cheshire forms part of England's border with Wales and is also a part of the Welsh Marches. Apart from the large towns along the River Mersey and the historic city of Chester, it is mostly a rural area, with a number of small towns and villages. The major urban centres of Wirral are to its east: these include Birkenhead and Wallasey.
The distinctive Cheshire red sandstone has been used for many monumental and ecclesiastical buildings throughout the area: for example, the medieval Beeston Castle and Chester Cathedral. Surviving buildings from the 15th to 17th centuries are timbered, particularly in the southern part of the county. Examples include the moated manor house - Little Moreton Hall, dating from around 1450, and many commercial and residential buildings in Chester, Nantwich and surrounding villages. Chester’s central shopping area includes unique ‘Rows’ or galleries (two levels of shops) which date from medieval times and are believed to include the oldest shop front in England. From the Victorian era, brick buildings often incorporated timberwork in a mock Tudor look, and this hybrid style has also been used in some modern residential developments across the region.
Buildings of any age, style, period or size can be exposed to the risks of wood boring insects, wood rotting fungi or rising damp. These types of problems can affect the structure of the property and tend be more prevalent in older buildings, such as Medieval, Victorian and early 20th Century dwellings or those that have been refurbished or repurposed over time.
Flooding in the Wirral and Chester area is not uncommon; the River Dee has burst its banks across Chester and the surrounding areas of Deeside, Sealand and Flint often due to tidally influenced river flooding. Yet notably 2013/2014 winter storms caused surface water flooding, as the sheer volume of intense rainfall overwhelmed drainage systems as well as river banks. The area remains vulnerable to surface water and sewer flooding from storm and heavy rainfall. Months after flood waters have retreated, damp may no longer be visible in a building. Yet moisture levels in some timbers within a property, can remain high enough (above about 20%) for dry rot to decay the wood.
Woodworm is the generic term for the young of wood-boring beetles. Adults lay eggs in cracks in wood and the larvae (woodworm) burrow deep into it and feed, making a maze of tunnels over several years. They will happily eat away at wooden floors, furniture and timbers and if left untreated, can seriously weakens wooden beams in a property which can lead to structural failure of the timbers.
Spotting the early signs of woodworm is important; allowing a qualified surveyor to complete a woodworm survey assessing the extent of any problem, the type of woodworm involved and recommending the most effective, targeted treatment to eliminate the pest before it can spread any further through the property.