[Strawbale]Fungus and beetles (fwd)

Stewart Hargrave Stewart at Hargrave....uk
Mon Feb 28 19:42:18 CET 2005

On 28 Feb 2005 at 16:39, Jan Hollan wrote:

> We are building our strawbalehome at this moment. The contractor who placed
> the contruction delivered some pillars witch were allready infected by
> fungus and insects. For the moment it is very stable, but I like to do
> something on it. So I thought about to impregnate the wood with an
> ecological product. Does somebody knows a good product to use or maybe
> another way?

The following comments are based on my experience in 'convertional' building 

It really is inexcusable that your contractor supplied you with materials that were 
infected by both fungus and insect. He should have supplied you with sound 
timber in the first place. The ideal solution would be to insist on materials that are 
suitable for the job.

If that is not an option, you will need to consider if the structure of the timber has 
been weakened by the attack. If it has, you cannot use it. You also cannot use it 
if the insects or fungus are still active. They need to be dead and gone before 
you can be sure it is safe to use.

But you should also take measures to prevent the conditions for fungal attack to 
occur - this means keeping the wood dry.

The conventional way of applying long term preservatives to timber is in a 
vacuum chamber, so that preservatives are absorbed deep into the wood. By 
their nature, the chemicals used have to be pretty harmful and long lasting. 
Compounds containing arsenic are a popular choice. Not nice in a straw house.

However, you might like to look at this site, and search for others like it nearer to 
you, that can supply reletively safe compounds of boron 


Good luck.
Stewart H.

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