Identifying and solving building problems environmentally without the use of chemicals

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Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Jan 10, 2017

We had a very busy end to 2016, with work coming from all corners of the UK and Ireland, including the Channel Islands and Germany.  One of our Directors made expeditions to the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the Himalayas in India to further our ongoing research into the origins and spread of dry rot and to advance our knowledge in understanding of its biology and pathology.

The photograph below is taken from one of the many historic buildings we surveyed last year that was damaged by dry rot.  An angel moulded from plaster in an abbey in Ireland had developed a dry rot “halo”.   The building was in very poor condition due to years of neglect.  

By adopting our environmental approach and innovative conservation solutions, the future of this building is now secure.  Although many more years of monitoring, drying out of the fabric and repairs are required, we are certain it will soon return to its former glory.

Active Death Watch Beetle was also found in many of the historic buildings we inspected last year.  Damage caused by Death Watch Beetle can be severe when combined with wet rot (see photos below).

EBS Ltd can save money for owners because we seldom recommend expensive chemical treatments.  More often problems can be solved by simple, low cost environmental solutions.  Our sophisticated technical equipment can be used to test most aspects of a building, without the need for extensive exposure work and large-scale removal of timber.  Our approach is much kinder to the environment, simpler and is often much less expensive.

Last year our work was not confined to historic buildings.  We inspected many failures in modern buildings, primarily associated with water leaks, subsequent mould related issues and the potential health impacts on the occupants.

Water leaks in modern buildings can be difficult to detect and assess the distribution of water.  Water can travel over large distances under damp proof membranes in solid floors appearing remotely from the leak source.  EBS Ltd has many years of experience inspecting these problems and we are in great demand, usually called in when other experts have failed to identify the problem.  

Once the problem has been identified we are often able to reduce the extent of opening up and the repairs required, thus saving considerable time and expense for the owner and insurance company.  Below a thermal imaging camera is used to detect differences in temperature in materials.  This can be useful in detecting moisture in structures combined with other tests.  All these tests are useful but it is crucial to have these results analysed by our experienced surveyors.