Timber Frame Repair

In Beds, Herts & Bucks

timber frame repair

It’s not unusual for timber frame properties to require repair to the actual timber frame itself. Our site surveys not only cover the repair of the timber frame but also the likely cause or causes for the timber decay. The reason for your timber frame decay can often be multiple.

To the left, you can see the skilful replacement of Oak beams with the original bricks reset. We have highly skilled bricklayers experienced in heritage work that can work alongside our carpenters when carrying out this type of work.

The more common problems we find with Timber Frame Buildings

  • The use of tar/pitch to seal and ‘preserve’ oak framed buildings – it traps moisture into the wood and allows rot to take place
  • The use of modern paints – from late Victorian times, there has been a decorative ‘fad’ to paint oak frames black – it is not how they were intended to be. Modern paints trap moisture into the timber and allow rot to take place – conservation and restoration of timber frames involves removal of paints to allow the timber to breathe and dry out
  • The (very common) use of cement or putty to fill holes and cracks in the timber, especially where joints have eroded over time – water is trapped against the timber, and it rots rapidly
  • The use of modern sealants – silicone, acrylic caulk, mastic, foam, putty etc around the infill panels – these materials seal water against the timber and cause catastrophic rotting very quickly
  • The use of brick infill panels – as the original wattle and daub, or lath and lime plaster panels deteriorate and fall out; they have been replaced by brick – often using cement mortar. These have catastrophic results – increased weight on the frame causes distortion, and can lead to collapse. Brick and cement hold moisture which causes rot of the timber frame
  • The use of cement render on the panels – even daub panels are common cement rendered – this traps water into the panel and causes catastrophic rot of the timber frame members. Conservation and restoration of infill panels often involves removal of cement render and careful caulking around the edge of the panel before conserving with lime mortar and re-rendering the panel in lime render
  • The use of modern paints on infill panels – we often see daub panels painted with white acrylic or even worse, gloss white paint – this traps moisture into the panel and causes rot of the staves, withies and oak surrounding the panel.
  • The commonplace use of galvanised mesh under supposedly lime rendered finishes on panels – often only cement with a shovelful of builders lime – lime reacts with the galvanising in the mesh and the render cracks and falls off. Conservation work usually involves removal of all of these materials and replacement with traditional materials such as lime render – but alternative meshes can be used – for instance fibreglass.
timber framed house

Listed Heritage Builders use their extensive experience to beautify and sensitively repair historic timber frame buildings.

Call us on 01234 413034

For Consultations and Quotes.

Consultations are free, during the meeting we will advise you if you need a site survey. Which we do charge for but is not always necessary.

We then provide quotes based on the initial consultation and the site survey if one was required.