Woodworm/termite and Frame stability

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Paul Hagen, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. Paul Hagen

    Paul Hagen

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    Hi
    I'm a newbie here, so go easy on me!... I've checked around and can't see anything about this - so sorry if it's covered elsewhere...
    I originally posted this in the general chat forum - but perhaps this is best posted here...

    3 years ago we bought an 2004 Fiat Elnagh Motorhome which had a few issues that I managed to fix. (fridge circuit boards, water heater, table brackets etc) However, 2 issues have come to light and I would like to get some advice and find out if I can fix it myself or I need to take it somewhere.
    1 - WOODWORM/termites - in the shower room there are 2 areas that I suspect have woodworm or similar. 1 is high level above the window and you can see where the wall covering is coming up in 'bubbles' where something is trying to bore out. When we bought the van I didn't see this, but it is now ~18" x 6" - growing by ~6" x 6" per year. The wood in the area though does seem to be structurally intact. However, there is an area around the toilet - so by the outside hatch area where the wall seems to have completely lost it's structure and you can press in the wall covering. We see small pin sized droppings around the floor area and around the inside of the toilet emptying hatch.

    2 - the frame of the door does not seem to be very stable. In order to get the door to shut/lock properly, you have to slam it and the frame moves around a lot. Also, the manual step mechanism moves about a lot when you step on it and the frame that it is fixed to does not seem very stable. This is nowhere near the shower room so I don't think it is linked to the woodworm issue above.

    Does anyone have any experience of this type of thing and what is the best way to deal with it?

    We are based in South East London. I hope someone can give us some hints - Many thanks...
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Extremely unlikely you have woodworm.....the timber used would be new and virgin.

    Woodworm generally migrates from infested wood to fresh wood via contact and as the wood is new there would be no infestation.

    Woodworm do not like plywood or hardboard which is what the wall skins are made of.

    Sounds to me like advanced/severe damp and delamination problems.
     
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  3. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Not woodworm but water ingress causing wet rot in the timber.

    D.
     
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  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Also, if not repaired the problem will get worse to the point of being dangerous structurally.

    If it is advanced its usually beyond the average diy-er requiring the timber to be cut out and replaced then the delamination fixing which requires epoxy resins and pressure.
     
  5. Paul Hagen

    Paul Hagen

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    Thanks for the quick responses - the wet rot around the door I can understand - but what about the miniature 'droppings' and the area around the window has lots and lots of little ~1mm spots pushing up through the plastic wall covering as if something is trying to bore through - would you get that if it is just wet rot? Would a picture help?

    If it is rotten timber - can the small area be cut out or is it something more drastic? The outer skin is fibreglass sheeting I believe and there isn't any issue with that as far as I can see.

    also - any thoughts on the door frame / step issue?

    many thanks
    P
     
  6. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    The miniature "droppings" are the wet rot working through the inner skin of thin plywood. You may be able to deal with it locally but until you've opened up the wall you won't know and then there's no going back so be certain you hav the skills equipment and materials needed. You also need to establish exactly where the water has got in, could be window frame, could be wall to roof joint, could be other point of ingress. Water can travel along timber framing quite a distance so not necessarily right by the damaged area.

    D.
     
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  7. Terry

    Terry Funster Life Member

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    Hi I agree with both PPJ and Dave N -you say it's FG skined so check around any roof lights/tv Ariel etc --it's not a hard job to cut away the inner boards and examine the inner timbers but you may well keep going further up/down/sideways before you get to sound timbers -as such you may end up taking a lot more of the cupboards etc out -source some matching wall boards before you begin and if matching is not available then go for contrasting boards so it at least looks like it was meant to be there -good luck (y)
    terry
    edit just read Dave's post above after/while typing totally agree
     
  8. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I would endorse what Dave, John and Terry have said.

    Last year Dave spotted a damp problem in our rear locker when doing another job for us. Happily it hadn't gone too far but it was beyond what I had the tools and (weatherproof) accommodation to cope with. We booked it into a local dealer and had it fixed as soon as we could. No problems now but it would have been a lot worse if Dave hadn't spotted it.
     
  9. TheDeckKing

    TheDeckKing

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    Get a damp meter and check. Also check around the step it could be you have rot there too.

    Once everything is dry cuprinol do a product called 5 star which will protect against wet or dry rot (it also stops woodworm if that makes you feel better).
     
  10. Paul Hagen

    Paul Hagen

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    Thanks for all the help - Can anyone recommend a specialist I could take it to near South East London?
     
  11. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    Motor home coachcraft are based in Luton - they did a good damp repair on our old Lunar, but there should be somewhere closer
     
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