The role of so-called “biocide” substances in timber treatment products
As a plant, timber is vulnerable to certain environmental factors and, depending on its natural durability, the application of a timber treatment containing active “biocide” substances is the only solution to authorise its use. Indeed, timber building materials must have a sufficient performance level in order to guarantee the occupants of buildings a durable, strong and healthy timber structure.
Optimum and targeted doses of active “biocide” substances in timber treatments
Currently, new technology has made it possible for chemical formulation to achieve higher levels of performance and relevance thanks to a highly targeted choice of biocide substances that are effective in timber treatment products at very small doses.
Effectiveness is guaranteed for a minimum of 10 years. Their properties are fungicide or insecticide.
Timber treatment products containing biocide substances are the only effective and certified solution to give the expected performance levels to species of wood that are not very strong.
These fine dosage solutions, water based micro-emulsions, specifically prevent the growth of fungi, xylophagous insect larvae and termites.They thereby allow the use of resinous or deciduous species of wood grown in Europe for construction.
Timber treated with biocide substances, treatment steps and use
To achieve a use class of 2 or 3.1 sufficient to use the timber in a building structure, the timber will be treated by surface application. This can be done by soaking or sprinkling. Once the treatment has been applied, the timber is dried under shelter. This is the fixing step. Then, the treated timber is machined on the processing site and is used for construction without it having any impact on the quality of indoor air, because the substances that remain in the timber are not volatile.At the end of its life, the presence of these biocides in timber materials does not generate any Special Industrial Waste, and its elimination does not require any specific precautions relative to health and the environment.
Tomorrow’s timber treatments, with or without biocides?
All the R&D departments in the chemicals industry are focussing their efforts on bringing ever more reliable and environmentally friendly products to the market. Biocide free solutions are in the process of being developed, but none have yet been able to guarantee the required durability for construction timber. In the mean time, firm health and environment regulations govern the products formulated using biocide substances, from the commercialisation of the substances to the sale and use of products formulated using biocide substances. Timber treatment solutions comply with the 98/8/EC Biocides regulations. Subject to civil service authorisation (AMM in France) in 2/3 of European countries, their compliance guarantees users and the environment a high level of protection.
Beneficial treatment of compliant buildings
The regulatory requirements covering rot proof timber building materials or timber derived building materials are defined in the French n°99-471 Act of June 1999 and French decree 2006-591 of 23rd May 2006 covering the protection of buildings against termites and other xylophagous insects. (link to the legislation somewhere on a blog post or on the sarpap-cecil web site?) These links are useful to internet users seeking additional information but are not used for referencing, therefore the destination page should only correspond the the information the internet user is expecting (it can even be a redirection to the article of the law on legalis, for example)
Regulations also apply for outside uses or for structures that do not require planning permission.
In this legal framework, all timber or timber-based materials (panels, for example) contributing to the strength of new building structures must prove their resistance to the actions of xylophagous insect larvae and termites.