Chemical Delignification

FREE Inspection

contact us

Max. file size: 256 MB.

Chemical Delignification Perth

Chemical Delignification Perth is a common problem that goes largely undetected or covered up in Perth.

It will generally only be detected during the course of a Timber Pest Inspection or a Pre Purchase Building Inspection.

When identified on a pre-purchase building inspection it can make or break the deal.

That is where Powerdrive Roofing company comes to the rescue.

Powerdrive Roofing has been working closely together with building inspection companies across Australia. Especially in Perth now for many years now.

A Delignification Treatment was perfected and patented protected by Powerdrive Roofing in 2020. A specially devised chemical to re-strengthen the timber and enhance the structural integrity in your timber roof structure.

Whether it is for the settlement to go ahead or just for your peace of mind. A Chemical delignification treatment service should be put at the top of the to-do list when it comes to addressing structural defects.

Chemical Delignification
Chemical Delignification Specialists

20 Years Experience
20 Years Experience

Google Rating
Based on 94 reviews

What is chemical delignification?

Chemical delignification is a breakdown of lignin. It is caused by salts and other chemicals being leached from the clay tiles by the timber battens. It then spreads through to other structural timbers throughout the roof frame. In order to understand delignification first, we must understand lignin.

What is lignin?

According to Wikipedia. “Lignin is a class of complex organic polymers that form key structural materials in the support tissues of vascular plants and some algae. Lignin is particularly important in the formation of cell walls. Especially in wood and bark, because they lend rigidity and do not rot easily. Chemically, lignins are cross-linked phenolic polymers.” Also according to Wikipedia,

“A cell wall is a structural layer surrounding some types of cells, just outside the cell membrane. It can be tough, flexible, and sometimes rigid. It provides the cell with both structural support and protection, and also acts as a filtering mechanism. Cell walls are present in most prokaryotes (except mollicute bacteria). In algae, fungi and eukaryotes including plants but are absent in animals. A major function is to act as pressure vessels, preventing over-expansion of the cell when water enters.”

Lignin, Vital For The Structural Integrity Of Your Roof

So as you can see, Lignin is a vital part of any timber. Delignification which is essentially the breakdown of the lignin is quite obviously of Major Concern. If you are told any different from anyone, I would suggest you challenge it immediately.

Contact the staff at Powerdrive Roofing. We will be more than happy to assist. We have two separate independent laboratory tests carried in in 2020 that back us. Will be happy to speak on your behalf. Talk to the relevant authorities in relation to Chemical Delignification.

If you are being told Roof Battens are not a Structural Element, please read a little further down. You will also show you that is untrue also.

What causes chemical delignification?

What causes chemical delignification in Perth? People are under the misconception that chemical delignification is caused by airborne chemicals landing on the timber. This is a common belief and also what is described by literally 100s of building inspectors Australia wide. Why? Because that is what they read on google, it must be true.

Feel free to listen to all the google experts’ theories on chemical delignification Perth. While you are doing that though. Can anyone tell me why all of these ‘airborne’ chemicals decide to attack the roof tile battens first? Why they have never been known to attack the structs or underpurlins?

While all these ‘inspectors’ are gathering their google knowledge. Even doing tests by scraping back the fluffy part of the timber and saying it is now stronger. (yes, it is true there is one inspector that has claimed that delignification actually makes the timber stronger. he explains this while driving around with none other than a real estate agent. Here is a link for your amusement, it starts around 1:40ish)

Chemical Delignification Perth Facts

  • Powerdrive Roofing went ahead and confirmed what we have been saying all along. chemical delignification Perth or anywhere for that matter. Is not an external problem that can be solved by simply scraping back the outer surface. You can not determine the severity of chemical delignification due to the size of a batten.
  • Chemical delignification is not the natural deterioration of a building of that age or era as some building inspectors would try to have you believe.
  • Without a terracotta roof tile, we don’t have delignification.
  • Delignification is caused after the clay tile above has deteriorated and begun efflorescence (salt bleeding out of the tile).
  • If roof maintenance had been routinely carried the lifespan of the roof tiles are greatly extended and therefore the chances of chemical delignification are significantly lowered.

OK, if you have managed to read this far, I am guessing you are starting to realise that airborne chemicals play a very little role in this major structural defect?

Where Does it Start

The chemical delignification starts when the salts are sweated out of the terracotta tiles, now this doesn’t happen overnight, this takes years to happen.

Slowly over time our harsh weather wile wears out the clay tile and breaks it down. When this happens, there is a certain point where all the moisture is absorbed by the tiles, this moisture in turn pushes the salts to the bottom surface of the tiles.

Soon enough that salt and moisture reach the timber below. The roof tile battens are the first in line as they are in direct contact with the roof tiles. While the salts are still wet, they will travel through the veins of the timber. The timbers veins are also what gives it its natural strength, the lignin.

So, you can imagine in winter when we have a week solid of rain, these veins are sucking in all these salts. Pushing them further and further through the timber and then when it finally stops and has time to dry out. The salts crystalize and separate the lignin from the fibres. And chemical delignification Perth is born.

Some Building Inspectors Think They Know It All!

I recently had a building inspector tell me that in his professional opinion it has taken 56 years for the batten to get to that point, I don’t think it is going to get much worse in the next 2 or 3 years. Effectively he just showed his complete lack of knowledge on the subject altogether.

 He even decided to tell me there was somewhere in the Australian standards that referred to how much of the batten had been affected. There is nowhere in any standard that mentions this at all. It actually says “severe delignification such that the strength of the member is reduced.

There is literally no person alive that could tell you how quickly the batten has taken to break down to that point. The simple reason being no one knows how long it took for the tiles to break down originally.

Were the tiles maintained for the first 30 years while the original owners occupied it and it has only taken 20 odd years for the complete process? No one can answer that.

Softwood and Chemical Delignification

Newer homes using softwood battens however are already showing signs of chemical delignification Perth after as little as 7 years. This is because the tiles these days are nowhere near the standard that were years ago.

This means the tiles don’t have to break down much before the efflorescence occurs. Couple that with the porous, softwood and you have yourself a recipe for delignification disaster.

Examples of Areas Prone to Delignification

In seaside areas, obviously, airborne salts land on the tiles and are drawn through porous roof tiles. This process is accelerated for houses with clay or terracotta roof tiles. Fretting tiles or spalling allows further amounts of salty contaminated moisture through to the Structural Roof Framing Timbers. Roof Battens are the first to cop it followed by rafters.

It has been thought not proven that high pollution zones, industrial areas and airborne pollutants can accelerate or even cause Delignification. We could back that theory, saying every home is located in a high pollution zone of one form or another.

Another believed the (unconfirmed) cause of chemical delignification is the release of gases into the roof loft space. This may include the slow combustion stove gases or perforations from ducting and flued gas appliances. One we do know that accelerates the process is old hot water systems in the roof cavity.

Is Chemical Delignification A Structural Defect?

Yes, Chemical Delignification is a major structural defect as it affects the roof frame, starting firstly with the roof tile battens. As you read further you will see how roof tile battens are a structural element of a home as they are part of the roof frame. Chemical delignification is a very common problem associated with Timber Roof Battens on clay or Terracotta Roof Tile homes. When identified within the roof cavity whilst conducting a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection. Although Chemical Delignification will eventually affect all timbers in the roof frame. Structural Timber Battens, as mentioned above are connected to the Terracotta Roof Tiles and leech the moisture from the clay. Clay is carrying salts and other chemicals that break down the natural lignin in the timber. If for instance, a timber-framed roof had Structural Timber Battens and a Tiled Roof Covering. One could fairly assume that Roof Collapse could occur with Significant Chemical Delignification.

What Timbers is Chemical Delignification Found In?

Although Chemical Delignification has been previously associated with timbers with less than average durability the likes of softwoods. Here in Perth, we have witnessed first-hand that Chemical Delignification can occur to durable timbers such as Jarrah and Karri. Generally speaking, Jarrah has an above ground rating of durability of around 15-40 years. Thus making many Perth homes susceptible to this risk. Now with the introduction of pine and other softwoods into the roof framing and in particular, roof tile battens. Chemical Delignification is taking hold a lot quicker. Therefore needs to be addressed a lot quicker. Don’t be fooled by the hand full of inspectors with unknown intentions trying to downplay the severity of the issue.

Chemical Delignification in Pine

Chemical delignification as we already know leaches into the timber and begins destroying the lignin, with a nice hardwood such as Jarrah or Karri this process would normally happen over the course of a few years once the tiles above have started to deteriorate or lose their natural glaze. What we have seen lately with the introduction of softwoods, (generally Pine) the delignification process is taking hold much quicker and deteriorating the timber at a much faster rate.

What is even more alarming is with the timber battens we are not only seeing the breakdown of the timber through chemical delignification, but Powerdrive are also seeing delamination of the timber also. As great as we are, Powerdrive has not been able to come up with a treatment for delamination as yet.

Do Not Allow Contractors On Your Roof

Although in hardwoods chemical delignification can take a number of years before collapse occurs. It will be classified as a MAJOR STRUCTURAL DEFECT whilst conducting a pre-purchase building inspection. It is not advisable to add extra live load to a roof cover when Chemical Delignification is identified. You could risk the roof timbers giving way and if there is an accident you and the tradesman will not be covered. .

Are You Insured if You Have Chemical Delignification?

Contact your home and contents insurer and ask them the question. “hi, I have just bought a home, it has had Chemical Delignification Identified. My inspector has said it is not a structural defect. Although it is in both 4349.1. Pre-purchase building inspection as a defect and it is also in the 4349.3. Timber pest handbook as a Structural Timber Pest. If I buy this home you guys will insure me won’t you since my trusty building inspector said it’s ok? “  I’m sure they would love to insure a home with an identified Structural Defect and Timber Pest.

Is chemical delignification a timber pest? In short, YES it is.

As mentioned above, Chemical Delignification is in the 4349.3 Timber Pest Handbook. However, for some reason, it has been omitted from the pre-purchase timber pest. This is conducted for established properties in Western Australia. That does not change the fact that it is in fact a Structural Timber Pest, as it resembles white-rot fungus. Acting in the same way, breaking down the lignin but in a chemical process rather than a fungus. Combining that with the fact that it is also a structural defect in 4349.1 they really don’t have an argument. Anyway back to Chemical delignification is a Structural Timber Pest.

Chemical delignification Perth is similar to termites and other common timber pests. Contrary to what some will try and have you believe. With his little videos scraping back “the fluff”, Chemical Delignification attacks the timber and weakens it from the inside out. It will leave a fluffy appearance on the external face of the Structural batten as the lignin is broken down. Forced out and once sanded can give the misconception that it is all fine and back to normal. But internally the structure is extremely compromised, again emphasizing several years of scientific research. As opposed to one building inspector with a scraper and ulterior motive. He has decided to do a youtube video and recruit a few other inspectors?

What Are Their Motives?

What you need to remember these building inspectors are paid by you to source the defects. They are employed by you. In the home that you are potentially going to purchase. Why are they so dead set against calling defects as they are? Actually, going out of their way to exclude defects (not just chemical delignification) from their reports?

 Chemical delignification is classed both as a timber pest and as a major structural defect. It should be treated as a matter of urgency. If anyone tells you different contact Powerdrive Roofing Today. We are happy to fight the fight and do what is right for the homebuyers of Perth

Are Roof Tile Battens Structural?

Roof Battens Are a Structural Element of the Roof Framing.

Part of the job description of a Roof Tiler is to install the Roof Tile Battens. The rest of the roof frame is installed by the Roof Carpenters. Roof carpenters must abide by timber framing 1684.2 and 1684.4 span tables.

The roof carpenter does not set out the final load-bearing part of the structure. That is left to the roof tiler in most cases. Unfortunately, the latest trick by these shonky building inspectors is to try and claim falsely. Battens are installed by a roof tiler and not a carpenter they are actually part of the roof cover. Not the roof frame, this would make them a non-structural item, nice try on their part. Well, the truth of the matter is as a roof tiler we are also bound by Australian standards. As2049 and as2050. For roof tilers clearly state we are to refer to part 3.4.3 please see below the national construction code

Australian Standards

Which are part of the 1684.2 and 1684.4 timber framing and span tables. And it guides you then as you can see from the next image to the p2.1.1 performance requirement

It then explains structural stability and resistance to actions as shown in the final image.

So don’t be conned by these inspectors writing it off as a major non-structural defect. Here is all the proof you need, is a roof batten part of the roof structure? YES, WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT A ROOF BATTEN IS PART OF THE ROOF FRAME AND ROOF STRUCTURE!

This is confirmed on LinkedIn by Robert Columbo the NSW state manager and associate of Structerre

When Is Chemical Delignification Classed As A Structural Defect

As a part of your building inspection which is to be completed under 4349.1. Pre-purchase building inspections chemical delignification is listed in their examples of structural defects. It states severe chemical delignification to the point that the strength of the member has been reduced.

The simple fact is that the lignin is the strength, the glue that binds the timber together. That is what is being affected. So it would be stating the obvious that the strength has been compromised/reduced as soon as Chemical Delignification is identified

Also material deterioration is to the extent that conditions are conducive to structural deterioration or unhealthy conditions. So either way this is looked at it is to be considered a MAJOR STRUCTURAL DEFECT.

This is demonstrated below in TABLE F1 AS4349.1 pre-purchase inspections

We have fought the fight with the shonky inspectors who are trying to pass this off as normal deterioration due to the age of the building.

Your home does not need to be at risk of collapse for a structural defect to be identified. Contact Powerdrive Roofing Today. Stand up and fight. Don’t let these real estate agents con you out of looking into it further so their precious commission isn’t affected. The building inspectors care more about getting a referral. Rather than do the right thing for their own clients. They are willing to brush under the rug Major Structural Defects. It’s time they are made accountable, it’s time the home buyers of Perth find out the Truth About Chemical Delignification.

How to Fix Chemical Delignification

Powerdrive Roofing has a patented treatment for chemical delignification in Perth. but we will discuss this in more depth in another blog post. But to fix, repair or rectify chemical delignification Perth you are definitely in the right area. If you send your building inspection report to we can have a look and give you our professional advice.

Verified by MonsterInsights