House purchase, would woodworm put you off?

House purchase, would woodworm put you off?

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Charmless man

Original Poster:

427 posts

164 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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Looking at a house to do up. We viewed a place that looks ideal, various issues that aren't insurmountable. Just wondering how much I should be concerned about the woodworm.

The living room carpet is not fixed down, the estate agent pulled over one corner (vacant property) to show the floor boards. A very large number of woodworm holes were visible, no doubt they're old and the bugs are long gone. The plan would be to sand the boards but chances are that will open up the holes so we end up with tracks everywhere. Main concern is if the beetles have had a munch on the joists as well, if so I guess things could get expensive?!

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with wood worm causing issues other that aren't just cosmetic? I'll get a survey done but they will no doubt just copy and paste the stock paragraphs regarding 'evidence of wood boring insect attack'.

otherman

2,130 posts

145 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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You can treat the wood to kill any remaining ones off, but if you plan to sand it rather than use laminate obviously that won't work. As you say, need to check joists as well so get some floorboards up. A damp proof company will be able to give you a price for replacing the floor joists and all.Cost me £3k but that was 15 years ago.

BoRED S2upid

17,443 posts

220 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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I'd be using it as a damn strong negotiating tool! But if your renovating it it's probably ok and a survey will tell you how bad it is.

Little Lofty

3,020 posts

131 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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Pretty rare to see woodworm in homes now, I'd bet its long gone. Obviously it could have caused severe damage to the joists so you would have to lift a board or two to check. Ask for a survey to be carried out by a specialist, they will probably recommended treating it which is a waste of time if they've already flown, but they should also tell you if its caused any structural problems, which is the main concern.

Renovation

1,641 posts

101 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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I've had to replace floorboards and joists before now - the joists were 4" short of the wall due to rot, previous owner had balanced them on bricks placed on the dirt below.

Damp and woodworm go hand in hand.

I'm doing my new place - no sign of woodworm but I cursed the electrician for snapping boards but when I tried to lift them they did the same... on close examination there is perhaps 2 holes per meter of board but the inside is riddled with their tunnels - never seen that before.

Charmless man

Original Poster:

427 posts

164 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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Thanks all, useful insight as always. House is 1930's so I guess chances are any house of that era will have a few nibbles out of it. Just how much is the key I guess.

@renovation, interesting point about the damage beneath. Renovating my Dads house we removed all of the floor boards from the first floor, due to several issues. They ended up as kindling for the fire, I was amazed at the amount of material that had been removed from the timber despite the timbers looking 'ok'.

surveyor

16,811 posts

164 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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Most surveys specifically will not lift carpets - vendors get funny about that.

Ask for certificate from when work was done to get rid. Only way of determining joists is to remove boards etc or try some jumping.....

Renovation

1,641 posts

101 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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TBH it's not hard nor expensive really if you're renovating anyway.

IIRC around £500 to do a 4mx4m room.


Charmless man

Original Poster:

427 posts

164 months

Sunday 11th January 2015
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The carpets in the offending room are more full sized rugs, all very old. Definitely worth further inspection then.

Talking of the jumping up and down, reminds me of an old house buying program from old, following a surveyor. They said they like to rise up onto tip toes then fall with all their weight on their heels to get a feel of what's going on with a floor. If you get a solid thud things aren't do bad, any kind of bounce warrants further inspection. Bit simplistic I guess but maybe an indicator.