Assessment and repair of structural timber

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Repairs become necessary when a building is no longer safe or serviceable for its intended purpose, or to restore or improve its appearance, performance or function.


Timber structures can be repaired using traditional all-timber methods, mechanical fasteners and adhesives, but only following survey and assessment that take account of the structures condition and intended use.


Historic structures demand appraisal by specialists. Their advice about the scope and extent of any survey will lead to significant savings in construction time and cost. Their specialist knowledge of non-destructive techniques will minimise disruption and allow the inspection to proceed with the minimum of opening up works during the preliminary phase of the building investigation.


This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) looks at why a structure may require repair, how the survey and assessment are carried out and the repair methods available.



  • The need for repair
  • Survey and assessment
  • The survey
  • The assessment
  • Repair methods


For queries about this technical document, please get in touch with its authors via BM TRADA’s Technical Helpline on +44 (0)1494 569601 or email


A paper/digital copy of this Wood Information Sheet is available in the BM TRADA Bookshop, which also hosts additional specialist timber publications.

Suggested Reading

Non-destructive testing of timbernavigation-arrow

Non-destructive testing (NDT) may be defined as 'any means of determining the properties of a material, without causing significant changes to those properties'. This definition permits some degree of damage, providing the performance of the material, in this case timber, is not affected.


This Wood Information Sheet is an...

15/03/2018 |  Wood Information Sheet  

What wood is thatnavigation-arrow

Nick Clifford puts timber samples under the microscope.

Article from the TRADA Timber Industry Yearbook 2014

01/01/2014 |  Magazine Article  

Achieving longevity in external structures: Croome Chinese Bridgenavigation-arrow

Andrew Holloway guides us through the reconstruction project for the Chinese Bridge at Croome Park, covering the specification, design, fabrication, preservative treatments and planning for the maintenance of the timber components.


27/05/2020 |  Magazine Article