The untrained eye may well look at a section of timber (in this case the exposed soffit lintel section over a window opening), and decide it is in good condition. However, removal of the lintel did reveal – as anticipated – decayed timber and as such, stripping of timbers, wall sterilisation and reinstatement works were undertaken.

Picture 1 is the condition of the joist end to the roof void eaves that was initially inspected. The decay was only visible because our surveyor removed the random infill between the joist ends. The underside of the window lintel to the kitchen below appeared to be sound from underneath, as is often the case. Once removed it is clear just how decayed the timber was. An inexperienced surveyor may well have missed this.

St Andrews - lintel appearing sound but not

Lintel appearing sound - initial inspection

St Andrews - lintel not sound

Lintel unsound - after removal of random infill between joists