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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorWeeBeastie
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2020
     
    Due to wet rot the pine floor in one room of my bungalow has become quite a patchwork of old, new, and middle aged floorboards of differing colours and widths. Since the most recent episode of replacement I've noticed a few isolated small areas of rot, two or three inches long, as I've been refinishing the boards. Is this what wood hardener is for? Or should I replace these areas too?

    I'm actually torn between getting by with coloured stains and rugs to reduce the patchwork effect, and replacing the whole room with new boards (using the salvaged boards to patch elsewhere). If I was to replace the whole room, is modern pine up to the job or will big gaps open up? Furthermore I've been unable to find new or salvaged pine of the ideal dimensions to match the old: 4 inches wide, 22mm thick. I'd prefer any new floor to be at the same level as old.

    Thanks for any advice.
    • CommentAuthortychwarel
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2020
     
    Don't replace anything until you work out why the floorboards are rotting, could be the underfloor ventilation is blocked, also if the floor boards are rotting then the floor joists are going to be dodgy
    • CommentAuthorWeeBeastie
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2020
     
    Posted By: tychwarelDon't replace anything until you work out why the floorboards are rotting, could be the underfloor ventilation is blocked, also if the floor boards are rotting then the floor joists are going to be dodgy


    Yes, I've had some of joist ends replaced recently. The ventilation seems OK (extra vents have been added in the past) but I have had polythene and sand laid to seal the soil below as that was quite damp. I also wonder if old floorcoverings were an issue as the rot was where there was lino or foam carpet underlay - all gone now! Rooms with old 'hairy' underlay were fine.
  1.  
    Posted By: WeeBeastieI also wonder if old floorcoverings were an issue as the rot was where there was lino or foam carpet underlay - all gone now! Rooms with old 'hairy' underlay were fine.

    For me that explains the problem. IMO Lino and plastic foam preventing the wood from breathing would cause damp in the boards and from there the rot
  2.  
    Any pine, but especially new fresh pine from the wood yard, will probably be fine IF you lay it down for a couple of months in stick INSIDE in the relatively low humidity environment that it is going to spend the rest of its life in.

    Of course, this is generally very inconvenient to say the least and frequently impossible.

    Alternatives might be to enquire if the wood yard will supply the boards kiln dried.

    (If you are going to try drying the boards yourself note that for full dryness it is generally reckoned that it take one year for every 1" of timber thickness. Though this is something of a counsel of perfection and is probably for furniture grade dryness rather than flooring.)

    Or, if time allows, keep an automated search going on eBay looking out for boards being recycled. Though there does not seem to be a shortage of reclaimed boards at the moment (depending upon where you are in the country of course):

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1311.R4.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xpine+boards.TRS0&_nkw=reclaimed+pine+boards&_sacat=0

    The older the property that the boards come out of the more likely the thickness is to match your requirements. The closer you can get to purchasing them after they have been removed from their first home the better the moisture content is likely to be rather than purchasing boards that have been sitting around on a shelf in a dealer's yard for months.

    These days, developers are required to recycle materials when they tear down buildings to put up their shiny new edifices. In Brentford, a location near me, a council orchestrated scheme has seen the wholesale compulsory purchase of several entire streets - the buildings in which are now being torn down for a massive new development. I have often looked on longingly at the piles of segregated scrap that I can see peeking above the hoardings and have wondered what would happen if I approached the site manager with a view to assisting them with the disposal of some of it - especially with landfill tax for timber (which is classed as active waste) going up to more than £94 a tonne in April.
  3.  
    Posted By: Peter_in_Hungary
    Posted By: WeeBeastieI also wonder if old floorcoverings were an issue as the rot was where there was lino or foam carpet underlay - all gone now! Rooms with old 'hairy' underlay were fine.

    For me that explains the problem. IMO Lino and plastic foam preventing the wood from breathing would cause damp in the boards and from there the rot


    The polythene and sand I had laid on the ground below the void three months ago seems to be working well now. There is less condensation on windows and RH readings are generally lower. I'm planning to add insulation under the floorboards later this year.

    Now thinking about flooring. All the floors are currently wood but I don't have enough of the original floorboards to go round (and have been unable to source matching reclaimed) so am planning on laying new flooring in one or two rooms. Given that vapour impervious flooring may have contributed to the historic rot in joists and floorboards, would I be ill advised to lay Marmoleum or tiles? Or will the insulation and ground moisture suppression allow me to use any material? Carpeting not welcome...
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