Remedial treatment of joinery. Comparison of distribution of organic solvent preservative and ammonium bifluoride
J M Taylor
It is some years since it was recognised in the United Kingdom that there was a problem of premature decay in untreated external joinery. Consequently, recommendations for preservative treatment were made by the Building Research Establishment, Princes Risborough Laboratory. In addition, the National House-Building Council has also included the preservative treatment of external joinery in its requirements. Thus, a large proportion of external joinery manufactured in the U.K. is now preservative treated, mainly in double vacuum impregnation plants. There still remain, however, relatively new buildings where preservative treatment has not been specified and where fungal decay is a problem. Decay occurs most frequently in the lower horizontal members such as cills, and the lower rails of opening lights. The damage is often most severe at the joints, where entry of water is facilitated by exposure of end grain. In some circumstances such as in Local Authority buildings where some of the more exposed joinery has already decayed, it has been considered economic to treat the remaining sound or near-sound joinery in situ in order to prevent future attack and to arrest any slight decay that may already be present. This treatment is normally applied by injecting organic solvent preservative under pressure in the region of the joints and where considered necessary along the lower horizontal member. As an alternative method of treatment, we have investigated the possible use of ammonium bifluoride, since diffusion of gaseous hydrogen fluoride may be expected to penetrate more extensively into wet timber than organic solvent preservative. The work described below was carried out in order to assess the comparative penetration of fluoride and organic solvent preservative in redwood (Pinus sylvestris).