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The deterioration of the wood is a process that alters the characteristics of this. In broad terms, it can be attributed to two primary causes:
· biotic agents (living)
· physical agents (who do not live).
In the majority of cases, the deterioration of the wood is a continuum, where the actions of degradation are one or more agents that alter the characteristics of the wood to the required degree other agents attacking. The familiarity of the inspector with the agents of deterioration is one of the most important aid for effective inspection. With this knowledge, the inspection can approach with a careful overview of the processes involved in the damage and the factors that promote or inhibit their development.
Biotic agents of deterioration
The wood is remarkably resistant to biological damage, but there is a number of agencies have the ability to use the wood in a way that alters its characteristics. Organisms that attack wood include: bacteria, fungi, insects and marine borers. Some of these agencies use the wood as a food source, while others use it to wrap.
Biotic agents require certain conditions for survival. These requirements include humidity, oxygen available, suitable temperatures, and an adequate supply of food, which is usually the timber. Although the degree of dependence of these agencies varies between different requirements, each of these must be present to avoid deterioration. When any body is removed from the wood, this ensures the biotic attacks.
Although many users of wood speak of dry rot, the term is misleading since the wood must contain water occurring biological attacks. The water content in wood is a factor decisive and important types of organisms that degrade the wood.
Usually, the wood below the fibre saturation point is not damaged, though some fungi and specialized insects can attack the wood at much lower levels of humidity.
Moisture in the wood responds to various purposes in the process of rot. Fungi and insects require many metabolic processes. Fungi, also provide a means of dissemination so that enzymes degrade the structure of the wood. When water enters the wood, the microstructure swells until reaching the point of saturation of the fiber (about 30% of the moisture content of the wood). At this point, the free water in the cavities of the cells of the wood, the fungus can begin to degrade it. Swelling associated with water is believed what makes cellulose more accessible to enzymes of fungi, increasing the speed of the wood rot. In addition, repeated adhesion of water, drying or continuous exposure to moisture can give rise to a leaching of toxic extracts and some pursuivants of wood, reducing the resistance to damage.
With the exception of anaerobic bacteria, all organisms require oxygen for breathing. While they deprive of oxygen it can seem a strategy logic for control of wood decay, since most of the fungi can survive in very low oxygen levels. An exception is totally soak wood in water. In marine environments, you can wrap in plastic or concrete so that marine borers can not Exchange nutrients nor the surrounding sea water. In many cases, untreated wood will decay in fresh water, but remains the underwater implication where oxygen is absent.
Most organisms thriving in an optimal temperature range from 21 ° C to 30 ° C; However, they are able to survive on a considerable range of temperature. In temperatures below 0 ° C, most of the organisms metabolism slows. While the temperature rises above freezing, they again begin to attack the wood, but the activity slows quickly while the temperature approaches 32 ° C.
In temperatures above 32 ° C, the growth of most organisms declines, although a certain species continue extremely tolerant to prosper up to 40 ° C. Most organisms die to prolonged exposure above this level, and it is generally accepted that in 75 minutes of exposure at a temperature of 65.6 ° C all the fungi that are established in the wood decay.
Bacteria are small single-celled organisms that are among the most common of the Earth. It has shown recently that have relationship with the infection from untreated wood exposed in very humid environments, causing increased permeability and softening in the surface of the wood.
Bacterial decay is normally an extremely slow process, but it can become serious in situations where the untreated wood is submerged for long periods. Many bacteria are also capable of degrading the pursuivants being able to modify wood treated in such a way that it comes to be chemically more susceptible to harmful organisms. Bacterial decay does not seem to be a significant hazard in the treated lumber typically used for construction.
Fungi are organisms that use wood as a source of food. They grow on wood as a microscopic network through holes or directly penetrating the cell wall of wood. The hyphae produce enzymes that degrade cellulose, hemicellulose or lignin which absorbs the gradient material to finish the process of disintegration.
Once the fungus obtains a sufficient amount of energy from wood, it produces a sexual or asexual fruiting body to spread reproductive spores that can invade other Woods. Fruiting bodies vary from unicellular spores produced at the end of hyphae to produce perennial fruiting bodies that produce millions of spores. These spores are widely separated by wind, insects, and other media that can be found in most of the exposed surfaces. As a result, all wooden structures are subject to attack by fungi when moisture and other requirements appropriate to the growth of fungi are present.
Mildew and stain fungus
Mildew and fungus of the stain blue (blue stain) quickly colonize wood once it shuts off and continued its growth while the moisture content remains optimal (about 25 per cent for the softwoods. The primary effect of these fungi is stain or discolor the wood. Harmless fungi are considered and of practical consequence especially where wood is used for its aesthetic qualities. The rust infects the surface of wood, causing defects that can generally be removed with brush or brushing, only serious concerns is the fungus of the blue stain because they deeply penetrate and discolor the wood. Under optimal conditions, some blue stain fungus can also continue to degrade the wood, causing decrease in hardness and an increase in permeability; Therefore, the stained wood is generally rejected for structural applications.
Mildew and stain fungus used the contents of the cell of the wood for food, and it does not degrade the cell wall. But their presence can indicate favorable conditions for the development of other fungi
Rot in wood is normally caused by the fungus of rot. This fungus is grouped into three broad classes based on the shape of the attack and the appearance of the rotten material. The three types of rot fungus are: the fungus of brown rot, white rot fungus, and soft rot fungus.
· Brown rot , as the name indicates, gives the wood a brownish color. In advanced stages, the decomposed wood is fragile and has numerous lines crossed, similar to one aspect of burning. Brown rots attack especially the cellulose and hemicellulose in wood cell wall fractions and modified lignin residual, causing loss of weight of almost 70 percent.
Since cellulose provides the primary cell wall resistance, brown rot fungi cause substantial loss of strength in the early stages of rot. At this point, wood seems a slight damage and the fungus may have been removed only 1 to 5 percent of the weight of the wood, but some characteristics of resistance can be decreased up to 60 per cent.
Three types of rot fungus, Brown rots are among the most serious because of its pattern of attack. Enzymes produced by these fungi move or propagate away from the point where the hyphae of the fungus are growing. As a result, loss of strength in the wood can extend a substantial distance from the locations where rot can be visibly detected.
· White rot , produced by the fungus of rot, resembles the normal appearance of the wood, but can be as whitish or light in color with dark streaks. In the advanced stages of rot, infected wood has a different soft texture, and individual fibers can detach from the wood. White rots differ from brown rot, which attack the three components of the cell wall of wood, causing loss of weight of up to 97 percent. In the majority of cases, the associated loss of resistance is approximately comparable to the weight loss. Enzymes produced by white rot fungus normally remain closed for the growth of the hyphae, and the effects of the infection are not sensitive in the early stages of rot.
· Soft rot fungus , is a more recently recognized that restricts its attack on the outer surface of the wood. They typically attack the very wet wood, produced by the changing conditions of moisture, the attack can also occur with little oxygen or in environments that inhibit the fungus of rot. Most of the soft rot fungi require the addition of exogenous foods to cause substantial attack. These foods are often inadvertently provided by fertilizers in agricultural soils, debris trash in cooling towers, and other nutrient sources. Although they can be found in some situations, soft rot fungi are not normally associated with significant losses of resistance in the components of a structure. For descriptive purposes, the degree of damage in the wood can be classified into three stages: early, intermediate, and advanced. Incipient damage occurs in the margin in which infection progresses to new parties, where it is difficult to detect the damage because there are no visible signs of the attack. The significant changes in the characteristics of the wood can occur in the early stages. While the damage that incorporates the intermediate stage, the wood softens, fade, and little remains.
In the stages of advanced damage, wood does not preserve virtually no resistance, pockets of rot are formed, or the wood literally dissolves. The detection of damage in the initial or incipient stage is the most difficult but also the most important part of the inspection. At this point, the damage can be effectively controlled to prevent more severe damage to the structure.
Insects are among the most common organisms on Earth, and many of their species possess the ability to use wood for shelter or food. Of the 26 orders of insects, 6 cause damage to the wood. Termites (Isoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), bees, wasps, and ants (Hymenoptera) are the causes primary most of the destruction in the wood.
The insect attack obviously generally from tunnels or cavities in the wood, they often contain dust or sawdust (insect faeces) of wood. The presence of dust at the bottom of the wood or sawdust on the surface of the wood, are signs of an attack.
There are 2,000 species of termites that are distributed in areas where the average annual temperature is 10 ° C or higher. In some cases, termites prolong its progression in cooler climates to live in warm structures made by humans. They attack the majority of species of wood. Termites are social insects organized into a number of classes that perform specific functions. The leader of the colony is a Queen whose sole purpose is to lay eggs. The Queen is protected by soldiers is strengthened and nourished by workers, who also build the nest and cause damage to the wood. Like all creatures, termites have certain requirements, including the wood with a high content of moisture, a convenient source of food, a high level of carbon dioxide, and oxygen. The colonies of termites range in amount from up to a million or more.
Subterranean termites (Rhinotermitidae) implicitly attacked any available wood, but they need a source of moisture and typically a nest in the ground. They have developed the ability to attack wood on earth building tubes of Earth that protect against light and moisture carried wood. Wood damaged by subterranean termites have numerous tunnels through the wood of spring but there is no exit hole to the surface indicating the presence of termites. Often, a sharp tap on the surface of the wood will reveal that there is only a thin plate of wood. Underground termite tunnels are filled with a mixture of remnants and stool giving a dirty look.
The damp wood termite
The damp wood termites are common in the Pacific Northwest, although a group is found in the most arid Southwest. The most common wet wood is found along the Pacific coast of Northern California in British Columbia. As subterranean termites, damp wood species need wood that this very wet, and his attack is often associated with the damage. These insects are a problem for the freshly cut lumber, utility poles, and any untreated wood that is in contact with the Earth. The tunnels made by the damp wood termites are quite large, as the underground species, tend to avoid the summer hardwood. The tunnels often contain small amounts of sawdust, however the appearance of the wood somewhat cleaner are the attacked by subterranean species. The damp wood termite attack can prevent or stop by removing the source of moisture or using wood treated with pursuivant in situations requiring contact with the Earth.
Dry wood termite
Termites (Kalotermitidae) dry wood differ from subterranean termites of the damp wood by its ability to attack the wood which is extremely dry; (5 to 6 percent moisture content). As a result, dry wood termites attack is not in contact with the ground and they are also far from visible sources of moisture. Damage to the wood by these insects, are long smooth tunnels that are free of sawdust or residue. In addition, there is no variation of attacks from spring wood to summer wood. Dry wood termites frequently cleaned out the nest chewing surfaces of tunnel, knocking and throwing out the remains, in which the infected wood accumulate below. Although tunnels resealing, the presence of remains below the opening is a good sign of attack. In general, the clusters of infections are in a geographic area, and prevention poses a certain challenge. When an infection occurs, the use of structural fumigation is widespread to be effective. Fortunately, the dry wood termite is confined in a relatively small geographic region.
Beetles (Coleoptera) represent the largest order of insects that cause substantial damage to the wood. Many beetles attack only living trees or cutting fresh wood, but are briefly fought since their damage can be found during the inspection.
Sprayers of wood beetles
Sprayers of wood beetles are insects that whose larvae attack the wood, leaving behind a series of small tunnels packed with excrement. The three families of beetles sprayers of wood are the Anobido, the Bostricido, and the Lictido. These insects cause serious damage to the wood and are a particular problem in museums, where wooden artifacts may go unnoticed for long periods. The Anobido and the Bostricido attack dead of wet wood branches but also attacked to untreated wood. The damage is made worse by the adults that emerge reinyectando the same piece of wood. The Lictido, or sprayer real beetle, found throughout the world in hardwoods and attacking it with a moisture content of about 8 percent. The larvae of these beetles make tunnel, and also expel the stool out of the wood. These droppings accumulate at the foot of the affected wood and it is a good sample of the infection of the sprayer. The use of preservatives in wood treatments will prevent infection of the Lictido. However, the attack of the beetle wood pulverizer can become a problem, where untreated wood is used in old existing structures.
The Buprestido, also called head flat or metallic wood borers, are almost entirely dependent on trees that complete their life cycle. They can cause significant damage attacking living trees, leaving damage which can be evident in lumber or other wood products. This beetle lays its eggs in the surfaces of bark or tree wounds. On its course from 1 to 3 years of their life cycles, larvae extensively make a tunnel in the wood, leaving galleries packed tightly with their excrement. Mature pupae of Larval and adult, practice an escape through a hole forming the output. In addition to the species that attack living trees, one species, the Golden Buprestido (Buprestis aurulenta), is capable of attacking a Douglas fir in service. This beetle causes serious damage to utility poles, where these attacks are often associated with the extensive damage.
(Cerambycidae) longhorned beetles include a number of degrading of the wood which generally have antennae longer than their bodies. They attack the wood in all conditions, depending on the species, and cause substantial harm. Some, like the sugar maple borer and the Poplar borer, attack only living trees, killing them and reducing the value of the wood. Other species attack the pine recently cut, and rapidly degraded wood.
An interesting attacker of green wood is the powerful driller, whose larvae attack the Douglas fir and pine, producing almost one inch diameter tunnels. Although this larva may complete their development in the timber, it reinfecta not experienced wood.
In addition to the beetles of long horns that attack life to recently harvested trees, several species cause damage to wood in service. Other species, the punch of old houses, is one of the most destructive wood borers and prefers the dry wood of conifers.
Carpenter ants differ from the previously discussed insects, since that use wood as a shelter rather than as food. They are social insects with a complex organization that revolves around the Queen. To hold the colony and raise their young, worker Carpenter ants must cover great distances from their nest to obtain food, which may consist of secretions of insects, and sugary food sources. As the colony grows from the original Queen in about 100,000 members, the workers gradually enlarge its nest, causing serious internal damage to the wood.
The termite (Isoptera from Greek ισός isos, "equal" and πτερον pteron, "wing"; "equal wings") are an order of insects Neoptera, commonly known as termites, termes, turiros or termites and white ants, for its superficial resemblance to ants, with which are not evolutionarily related since they are Hymenoptera.
Its scientific name refers to the fact that adult termites have two pairs of wings of equal size. They are a group of social insects that build nests (termiteros). Termites eat cellulose contained in the wood and its derivatives, which degrade through the action of the protozoa of your digestive system, which live in symbiosis. Most termites are tropical or subtropical climates, but a few live in temperate climates. A few 3.0001 known species, six of which have been introduced from other regions such as urban pests. General information
Termites are abundant and diverse in South America, Africa and Australia particularly in tropical forests of lowlands and savannas. Many species build colonies in the form of mounds and many others are arboreal or underground life. The termites that build mounds removed large amounts of land in hard and less fertile soils, which contribute to the occurrence of small plants that can grow to the size of shrubs and small trees.
Termites by themselves are not able to digest cellulose, but can leverage its nutrients due to the degradation of cellulose that perform protozoa that live in symbiosis within the digestive system of the workers. The termite feeding occurs by trofalaxia, termites carry the food in the stomach, and transmit it to other individuals through the anal canal or the mouth. Termites have economic importance as a pest in wooden structures, artworks and stored products.
It is difficult to know whether a colony of termites is attacking a structure due to its small size and they have negative phototropism, i.e., they are fleeing the luz.2 currently, there are appliances specialising to be able to listen to them through a septum, and discover if there really is termitica activity.
Can you eat the heart of a beam? The entire volume of a beam contains cellulose, including the heart; Therefore, all beam can be devoured by termites in full. They begin to consume it by the areas that are included in the work, going along the entire piece; being able to present a normal outward appearance and be horadada inside. Termite eats wood with quitinizadas jaws, ingested particles and performs a second crushing at the level of the gizzard. Next, wood passes to the stomach or intestine medium, where suffers the action of enzymes proteoli - ticos and amylolitic; here goes to the camera of fermentation, where eat protozoa, responsible for providing energy.
Termites go through anything to get to the wood, even the concrete if necessary. To perform this action, many times leverage joints of concrete to pass through supposedly impenetrable walls, but others shelled material making a gallery facing the wall without problems.
They live in colonies that can count up to 3 million individuals. In each colony, Queen (or Queens, there are colonies with several actual couples) is (are) the (s) only (s) that puts (n) eggs and their ovaries increase in size in a surprising way. Most of these insect has no wings, but during the breeding season some develop these organs and leaving group to form own colonies.
The termite with holometabolous insects with stages of egg, larva, pupa and adult. Adults are differentiated by caste.
Caste of termites
A termite colony consists of three basic castes: workers, soldiers and reproductive. In some species there is a fourth caste: pseudoergados.
Are wingless, exclusively female, sexually immature and with the exception of the family Hodotermitidae are blind. This caste fulfils an important role in the colonies, which is most of the work that develops in the nest, which may include: the construction and maintenance of the nest; the care and feeding of juveniles; power of the castes who are unable to feed themselves as soldiers and the Royal couple; development of tunnels for foraging; grooming and cleaning of other castes. Your body is usually little sclerotized.
They are sterile both sexes of adults. They are easily recognized by having a large and well-sclerotized head that sometimes becomes larger than the rest of the body. Many have well developed JAWS to bite the enemy; others are more specialized and have a pointed face associated with glands, so that they can repel other animals with jets of this secretion. The secretions can be of different type, although the most normal thing is that they are toxic, repellent to sticky. Its role is the defence of the colonies of termites.
The winged are imagos that still keep their wings. Winged players are those that can produce new Queens and Kings. The winged out en masse of the colony, when found, mating occurs in tunnels to evade predators and other hazards. The winged lost the wings immediately or followed by contact with the opposite sex.
Primary players (Royal couple)
The primary players are named King and Queen. Their bodies are usually well esclerotizados, except the female of some species, whose abdomen could be enormous due to hypertrophy of their ovaries.
If the Queen dies or it is very old and its egg production decline, substitute Queens may occur. Their bodies are usually less sclerotized than the primary.
Not present in all the Serranía caste. Completely undifferentiated individuals who according to the needs of the colony can be short-lived in one of the three major castes: workers, soldiers or secondary players.
Localization and pests
In 1930 was introduced in Central Europe the Reticulitermes flavipes, and since 1937 has not ceased to spread, finding currently in various cities of France and Hamburg. There is also the danger of spread of Zootermopis angusticollis, first introduced in 1956, coming from USA like the one above. The termite Kalotermes longclaw and Retuculitermes are located in southern Europe and North Africa lucifugus, which are the only two native species in Europe. The Termes is located in tropical Africa, Eagle.
Types of nests
Another characteristic of all eusocial insects are the nests; in the case of termites they present a great diversity; Sometimes they present a complex architecture, and may reach formidable sizes (more than 1,000 m³ in some Macrotermes).
The primitive habitat of termites was probably within dead wood, such as trunks, dead from live trees in parts; where society had food and shelter, which are called as nests of a piece.
Within the Group of separate nests can be distinguished three main categories:
Underground nests, this termite in the subsoil, over 40 metres  of the place in which their signals are detected.
Epigeous nests or cathedrals Serranía, are a type of nest protruding from the surface of the soil (mounds). Some termites build nests as columns that can reach 8 meters, but the most common is that they measure 3 to 4. They are oriented to the North: the height and orientation help to regulate the temperature, with a margin of variation of one or two degrees. Regardless of the temperature that you have outside, inside the termite there is always a fresh atmosphere. They are built with a result of a mixture of Earth, excrement and saliva clay. Some buildings get such hardness, which are needed explosives for derruirlas.5 this type of Serranía only warlike termes built it.
Nest tree, built in trunks or in a branch of a tree, which are always linked to the ground by covered galleries.
However, there are some intermediate nests. Epigeous nests always have a basal part underground, more or less important and sometimes dominant, as in Hodotermitidae. Some epigeous nests are built against a trunk of a tree and if the base is small tend to be arboreal.
Drilling wood weevils
Woodworms of dust
Anobido of the pine bark
The death clock beetle
Blue beetle wood
Common furniture beetle