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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must for anyone concerned with wood preservation, 14 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Timber Decay in Buildings: The Conservation Approach to Treatment: Decay, Treatment and Conservation: The Conservation Approach to Treatment (Guides for Practitioners) (Hardcover)
This book is a must for anyone concerned with wood preservation Reviewed by Jerry Clarke (rvw@aecb.net) Brian Ridout is one of the UK's most highly regarded specialists in control of timber decay. As English Heritage's consultant on damp and timber decay problems, he has been involved in the conservation of some of our most prestigious buildings. It is therefore not surprising that his experiences and expertise have now been collected and published in an a new book "Timber decay in buildings. The conservation approach to treatment."
With this background in mind, I had been concerned that "Timber Decay in Buildings" would be an uncompromising book of little use to those of us involved in the conservation of 'lesser' buildings. Fortunately, this did not turn out to be the case.
Although conservation of as much of the original building fabric as possible is the primary objective of the treatment methods described, Ridout does not lose sight of the importance of minimising environmental impact. He is very critical of the remedial treatment industry as a whole for its historic over use of chemicals and makes the point that the situation was exacerbated by the use of long-term guarantees as a marketing device. However, he falls some way short of calling for a complete chemical-free approach to treatment, describing such approaches as impractical in a world where naturally durable timbers are not available in significant quantities and where the quality of workmanship on building sites is frequently poor. Instead he suggests a "combined approach" using targeted preservative treatment, where necessary, backed by a greater understanding of the causes of timber decay by those involved at the design stage.
Potential readers should be warned that the first chapter on the structure of wood is a little "heavy-going," especially for those without a basic knowledge of chemistry. However, those who persevere will find the remainder of the book extremely readable, informative and, most of all, enjoyable.
Probably of most use to the architect or building restoration specialist will be the concise chapters on the most common wood destroying organisms. These offer information on their biology as well as advice on the pros and cons of different methods of control.
Further chapters deal with the selection of pre-treated timbers and the restoration of fire damaged and derelict buildings. In an attempt to bring together all the current thinking on the treatment of timber decay, Ridout has been very successful. Those who are already well-versed in the subject will still find some new and thought-provoking ideas. Through the use of appropriate historical anecdotes he manages to enliven what could otherwise be a very dry subject, making the book an easier read than the title would suggest.
As such, this book is a must for anyone concerned with wood preservation but especially those in dealing with historic buildings. Definitely one for the bookshelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on timber decay, 16 July 2013
By 
E. Carter (Allerton Bywater, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Timber Decay in Buildings: The Conservation Approach to Treatment: Decay, Treatment and Conservation: The Conservation Approach to Treatment (Guides for Practitioners) (Hardcover)
This book was invaluable when I was preparing my university dissertation on dry rot treatment. Whilst it is extremely authoritative it somehow manages not to make the subject too dry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars extremely useful, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Timber Decay in Buildings: The Conservation Approach to Treatment: Decay, Treatment and Conservation: The Conservation Approach to Treatment (Guides for Practitioners) (Hardcover)
extremely useful information for those who deal with historic timber structures as well as the conservation of monuments in general
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