We are currently in the process of buying a property in France. We had a survey done on the property, but it didnít flag up anything suspicious on the timber used to support the roof. I donít fully trust the report, so I thought Iíd ask here if anyone has come across this...
I had a look on the timber and it has some sort of loose material in most of its crevices. It seems almost like saw dust, but I would be surprised if thatís what it is as the timber has been in place for a long time....Attached a photo of the timber beam, where I have highlighted some of the affected areas...Any ideas what this might be?
First, to validate, it is virtually impossible to diagnose properly (or with any great confidence) a Coleoptera infestation (or possible infestation) without seeing specimen sampling of the frass, as well as any other field data that could be collected...With that what I am sharing is strictly speculation.
Again, I am just going on one photo, but that looks like either one of the spruce, fir or pine species known to that region of Europe. I am relatively sure (~70%) it's a conifer species of some type.
I also believe this is a "dead infestation" and nothing to worry about. What you are seeing (aka the powder) is impacted frass from the larva of some form of Cerambycidae family member (Longhorn Beetle) that requires bark on a timber (usually) to carry out a full and effective life cycle. Even after a timber is up and may have a larva in it, there still really isn't any concern generally for this species doing any structural or long term damage..
Please feel free to reach out to me directly by email (easily found online or here in my profile) or you can link with me on LinkedIn. I may be able to give further assistance if you feel it is truly necessary. I would also offer, that on your side of the "pond" one of my friends and dear colleagues may well have contacts in your area. Peter Ward
is a professional Historic Survey Specialist and Historic Restoration expert for the region. I believe he does (or knows who does) work throughout France. His is the Director at Heritage House Restoration.
I also can put you in touch with several traditional Timberwrights there as well...