Biodeterioration can affect many buildings, particularly historic ones. Addressing it requires a multidisciplinary approachAssessing decay (timber decay, fungal decay and insect decay) may require specialist techniques.

The key factors to consider in relation to biodeterioration are:

  • the material
  • the environment and
  • the organism.

Careful inspection is required before establishing the appropriate control strategy. Environmental management and control, combined with preventative maintenance, are preferable to chemical eradication. Preventative maintenance should, in most cases, forestall the need for major interventions and reduce the cost of conserving buildings. Environmental management and the ongoing monitoring of environmental conditions within buildings should ensure the long-term health of both materials and structures.

This section is maintained by Dr Jagjit Singh of Environmental Building Solutions Ltd.