, Volume 13, Issue 3-4, pp 273-290

Technologies for Wood Preservation in Historic Preservation

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Abstract

Because of the abundant forests of the world, wood is one of the most common materials found in historic buildings. Wood is relatively easy to fabricate into beams, columns, and roof systems using simple hand tools. However, because of its biological origin, wood is one of the most complex constructions materials. It is produced by thousands of different species of trees, and each type of wood has unique properties. Wood has an affinity for moisture and this can lead to biological deterioration caused by insects and decay fungi. This chapter presents information on understanding and preventing the mechanisms of wood deterioration in historic buildings. The chapter includes a discussion of wood preservation and technology, including wood finishes and wood preservative treatments, diffusible preservatives, and naturally durable wood species. A brief discussion about the repair of deteriorated timbers in buildings is also included.