Woodworm Infestation

We have a woodworm infestation. Unfortunately, it was hidden under lino flooring. When we first viewed the house, it was hard to see the walls or floors due to and incredible amount of junk. We were essentially buying parts of the house ‘unseen’. There was no way for us to get to some corners of the house or indeed into some rooms.

We visited countless houses whilst trying to find our dream home from Brittany down to Dordogne. Every single one had woodworm, some to such an extent estate agents warned us they were too dangerous to enter. We knew the barn was totally lost to woodworm, but despite our best efforts on an extended inspection we could not see any prior to signing.

After stripping all the wallpaper and ripping up every single inch of lino we have been incredibly surprised. Considering this house has an oak frame structure and has been left un-occupied with broken windows for around 25 years, there is very little woodworm.

There has been roof and gutter leaks, which has cause damp problems. This is where the problem normally starts, however in our case it seems the problem has down to water running out under the bathroom door from a leaking bath or burst pipe.

The first floor hallway had some nasty lino that in places didn’t even reach wall to wall.

Obviously, the parquet 3inch wide oak boards will need ripping up, re-making and laying back down. For some reason the woodworm is limited to a patch about 1m square, with only one small patch having worm that goes all the way through the plank.

One of the beams underneath does have 3 or 4 woodworm holes. It will be treated with woodworm treatment and wood hardener.

I’ve found a source of cheap split oak planks in the UK. I’ll run these through my planar thicknesser to match the size infected ones. It would be nice to use reclaimed oak boards but firstly they are incredibly hard to find and secondly they fetch ridiculous money.

After getting the boards to the correct thickness, I’ll use a router to put tongue and groove edges on them.

My scary planer thicknesser. I really hate using this thing!

We did find one other tiny patch of woodworm in the attic. There were less than ten holes in the timber and when taped with a hammer it still sounded rock solid. The wood was bone dry and dusty suggesting it had been dry for a long time, but there were several leaks in the area that needed fixing.

Initially, we will treat the woodworm ourselves before getting a professional to fix the roof. Once all the roof leaks are then fixed we will get the woodworm treated for a second time professionally. I had this done on my first house in the UK. A team seal off the attic, don their special hazmat breathing gear and spray everything down, treating and hardening the wood etc. It really makes splashing on a bit of treatment look totally pathetic.