Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Lesser of Two Weevils

Another quote from another window man.  It was intended to be for the casement windows at the back but he was also keen to quote for the other windows too.  We pondered the porch for a while.  It is not particularly attractive but the Conservation Officer has already indicated that a request to remove it would not be met favourably.

It is a canopy with two columns at the front but it has been infilled with wood and glass, probably in the 1950s, maybe earlier.  The canopy and columns alone would fit the look of the house much better.  The Window Man looked at the covering for the canopy and tutted.  We should replace it with lead.  It would cost about £500 but would be money well spent.  If the canopy were too rot because of the inadequate covering, then repairing it would be in the region of £2000.

I passed the information on to the builder.  Who also tutted.  It would cost far more than that to cover it with lead, he reckoned, and it would get nicked.  Ever practical and realistic, our builder.  Anyhow, before we could pursue this any further, I happened to look down at the base of the right hand column to see a little pile of sawdust.  I looked up to see whether there was a hole above but could see nothing, so swept it away.

It was back the next day.

On closer scrutiny, there was evidence of a hole in the side from which this sawdust was pouring.

To Google!  Where the most likely explanation seemed to be woodworm.  We called the Pest Controller.  Luckily, he was not far away and dropped by on his way back to his office.  It was identified as a combination of wood weevil and wood wasp.  See if you can identify which is which from the following pictures.

Wood Wasp

More or Lesser Weevil?

We were advised to strip off the paint and then the Pest Controller would come back to treat the wood.  He assured us that it would survive in the meantime.  But I have a child's cartoon in my head and the worry that the column will suddenly disintegrate into nothing.

I have to admit that I thought these columns were metal.  However, they are wood, rather lovely, slim and fluted doric columns, I think.

We will have to find a good woodworker to mend them so the hunt is on to find one who will repair and save our columns.  Luckily, the stuff that we used to remove the very thick layers of paint seems to have also dealt with the weevils and wasps for the time being.  However, the wood is soft and rotting at the bottom.  The column almost waves in the wind.  So, yet again, we are distracted from the task in hand by having to take emergency action.

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