Timber Decay Investigation at St Michael & All Angels Church, Essex

The Problem

Mould and fungal growth to the internal sarking board and truss faces were evident in this 12th century church in Essex. Obvious dips in the roof were also noticed externally which led to H+R being instructed to assess the large Oak trusses and temporary openings in the roof coverings in order to determine the extent of timber decay and to provide an effective remedial strategy. The church also required a risk assessment of the nave and aisle roofs to highlight issues that may lead to further problems of damp and decay.

Mould and fungal growth St Michael & All Angels Church
Old tiles

The Solution

A mobile tower scaffold and ladders provided by H+R gave access to the eaves where the medieval truss ends were inspected in detail using decay detection micro-bore drilling, and probed for surface and deep moisture content to confirm the presence of active/inactive decay organisms. External scaffolding provided by the client provided access to the roof where several areas of interest were opened-up by the on-site contractors.

A number of areas of historic timber wet rot decay and subsequent insect infestation from Deathwatch beetle were identified, and detailed advice for remedial specifications were provided in the report, and attached CAD drawings and tables. Much of the mould growth evident to the sarking boards was deemed to be insignificant and superficial, with the water ingress resulting from roof batten failure below the tiles, and from failing leadwork in the valley between the aisle and the nave.

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