Articles on spotting damage to know if your house or a property needs restumping, by Black & White House Raising service in Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

Copper Chrome Arsenate: Why Treat Your Timber With It?

Copper Chrome Arsenate has been used throughout the world since 1933, and is a substance that is well known for its ability to protect wood from insect and fungal infestations. Due to the toxic compounds that are used in this treatment, it is the best thing on the market for ensuring that timber remains as strong as it can be – able to stand the tests of pests, weather and time.

Stop Insects in Their Tracks

While steel foundations are being used more frequently during recent years, the majority of houses are still built using timber foundation materials for frames, walls, beams and stumps. Lucky for us, Australia has excellent hardwood timber available to use for building houses. This is a strong, durable material, which will last for many years, but if not treated adequately, timber can fall prey to insects that can dramatically affect its strength over time. Wood boring insects such as termites and their cousins can cause a lot of damage, which can reduce the strength of wood and cause expensive damage to your foundations.

Prevent Fungal Infections

While timber is an extremely strong material, if exposed to moisture regularly, over time it can take on fungal infections that will break down its strength and cause it to rot. Often this cannot be seen until it is too late, and the rot has set in, which will mean the timber needs to be replaced a lot sooner than it should be if it had been treated with a good chemical treatment such as CCA.

Prolong the Life of Your Timber

The only thing worse than building a house with untreated timber and worrying about the risk of having wood boring pests and moisture driven fungus move in, is if you actually did build it with untreated timber, and they did move in! It would mean you paying for costly repairs to either remove or repair the problem areas, and most likely replace a lot of the untreated timber with timber that is treated. Not only does CCA protect against these nasty visitors, but it also helps to prolong the life of the timber against weathering that may occur if it is in exposed areas of your home.

Possible Risks

Because CCA contains Arsenic, it does have risks involved in its use. As arsenic fumes can be ingested or inhaled, people must use caution when either working with the wood, or using it for children’s play equipment. Burning CCA treated timber is also ill-advised due to the risk of inhaling fumes as the wood burns. For more information about CCA treated timber and why it is the right choice for your house, talk to one of our experts at Black and White Houseraising and Restumping.

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your House Stumps From Pests

The stumps of your house are a crucial part of its foundations, which means that taking measures to ensure they are protected from pests is of great importance for home owners. Pests such as termites and other borers can do a lot of damage to your foundation stumps, before you are even aware that they are residents in your home. The key to ensuring that they do not set up camp and bring in their relatives to make your life a living nightmare, involves eliminating their access to food, water and shelter.

Remove Food Sources

Termites eat wood, while many borers make their homes in wood, so removing any dead wood that you have lying around in your yard is the first step to removing their food source. Have rotten stumps removed from the garden, and keep firewood off the ground and stored far away from the house. Ensure that the soil under your house is at least six inches away from supporting beams and stumps.

Prevent Moisture

Pests love moisture, and they will thrive in any moist environment, so keeping these crucial areas of your home as dry as possible will prevent your worst nightmare from moving in to your home. Leaking pipes and taps need to be repaired as soon as possible to prevent damp from getting into wooded areas of the home. Plants, bushes and trees should be positioned away from the house where they do not allow moist areas around the house; otherwise, this will invite pests. If you do find areas where there is moisture or damp in parts of the house, these need to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Adequate ventilation will also ensure that moisture does not build up in these areas.

Make Regular Inspections

Most house stumps are treated to prevent pests, but over long periods of time the treatment can become less effective and they may show signs of infestation, or weathering from the elements. They should be checked regularly to ensure that they do not need to be changed. Full pest inspections every six months, followed by a regular pest control routine, will assist in keeping your home free from creepy crawlies that want to eat your foundations.

If you suspect that your house stumps may already be under attack, contact our experts at Black & White Houseraising & Restumping for an inspection and advice on how best to fix the situation.

What Is Copper Chrome Arsenate (Cca) Timber Treatment?

Wood is an organic matter and, as such, it tends to break down over time due to being attacked by insects and fungus. To prevent this from occurring wood is treated with different timber treatments, but the most effective has proven to be the treatment with a copper chrome arsenate preservative.

This preservative has been used worldwide since the 1930s for many different purposes, but there have been concerns about the risks involved with arsenic leaching out of the timber, and it is not used as widely today because of this. For the use of house stumps by companies such as Black and White Houseraising and Restumping, this is a very effective timber treatment since usually the underside of the house is not frequented often by many people, so the risks associated are minimal.

What it Does

The components of this timber treatment include the chemicals copper, chromium and arsenic. The copper and arsenic are an effective preventative measure to protect the timber from insect and fungal attack. The chrome is added to hold the copper and arsenic into the wood to prevent it from leaching out. Wood that has been treated with the CCA timber treatment is usually identifiable because of its green hue.


The main risk associated with the use of the CCA timber treatment is the component of arsenic, which has been shown to leach out in small amounts over time, and can be swallowed or inhaled if the wood is burnt. It is for this reason that wood that has been treated with the CCA treatment will not be used for building children’s play equipment, patios, garden furniture, domestic decking, handrails, outdoor seating or picnic tables.

Risk Reduction

If you have been cutting or sanding wood that has been treated with the CCA treatment, clothing should be washed separately. CCA treated items should not be burnt in any wood fire as this could cause the arsenic to leach into the air where it could be inhaled, causing long-term damage to the human body. CCA treated wood should be disposed of through your local council or can be put into your regular garbage bin in small amounts. It should not be left unattended where it could be picked up by someone that is not aware of the risks involved. CCA treated timber should not be used for animal cages or any similar purpose that might involve it being chewed by animals.

Commonly Used Preservatives For Wood And Their Effectiveness

When treating timber to ensure the length of its life and prevent as much deterioration as possible, there are different methods according to what is needed. Most wood that is used for house stumps must be treated when it is at least partially dry, for both moisture and termites, which can require different processes of treatment. Some can be added together to achieve the same result. While there are different preservatives, the chemicals that are commonly used as an ingredient in the different preservatives are as follows:

Boron Salts

As a treatment for insects, Boron Salts are considered the most effective wood preserver. Unfortunately, it does not ‘fix’ into the timber, so can leach out if the wood is exposed to the elements, such as weather and water. If the area is adequately shielded from the elements this can be an effective method of protecting against termites and is relatively easy to apply.

Copper Chrome Arsenic (CCA)

As one of the most commonly used preservatives in Australia, Copper Chrome Arsenic is one of the most effective treatments to use for prolonging the life of your timber. This chemical is fixed to the timber through a vacuum pressure method, and the elements of arsenic and copper combined will prevent the wood from insects and fungal attack. The only downside to Copper Chrome Arsenic is that it does not prevent the timber from showing signs of weathering, so if the area is to be seen it will need to be painted or stained to maintain appearance.


Due to the process of fixing Creosote to the timber, it usually has a pungent smell and bleeding which occurs, so it is not often used for domestic situations. It is an excellent preservative, especially when it has been pressure impregnated into the timber under vacuum. A newer version of this chemical has been developed recently, known as Pigment Emulsified Creosote (PEC) which is a cleaner alternative and is more easily handled.

Light Organic Solvent Preservatives (LOSP)

This preservative is regarded as a fungicide for preserving the life of timber, but it can have an anti-insect chemical added to it, to allow it to serve the function of preventing insect infestation as well. These preservatives are typically spirit borne so they are an effective method if you do not want to rewet timber that has already been dried.

Talk to our experienced timber experts at Black and White Houseraising and Restumping about which timber preservatives would be best to use for your job.

Stump Damage – How It Affects The Overall Appearance Of The House

If the stumps of your house are damaged, the signs will become evident quite quickly over time, negatively affecting the overall appearance of your home. While the state of the actual stumps may not be easily seen from the outside, due to their position under the house, if left unrepaired they can damage the rest of the house considerably. This could lead to them greatly affecting the aesthetic value of your house as well as causing it to become structurally unsound and it could end up being a job that costs a lot more money.

Cracks in the Brick and Paintwork

One of the first signs of damaged stumps is visible cracks in the brick work and paintwork of the house. Some people think they need to go for the quick fix of repairing the cracks and paintwork with plaster, but this will not fix the problem for very long if the cause of the problem is not repaired properly. Fixing the paintwork and brickwork will become a lifelong task as your house falls down around your ears.

Uneven Floors

When wooden stumps have deteriorated considerably you may start to notice that the floors of your house are uneven and sloping down-hill in one direction or more. There is nothing you can do to fix this issue other than fixing the cause of the problem, which is repairing or replacing the stumps of your home. One way that you could fix the problem is to have the house raised and new foundations put in place with galvanised steel stumps. While this might seem like a big job, it is the better alternative to the long term problem of leaving rotting stumps deteriorating rapidly underneath your home.

Leaning and Sagging

Over time, as the failing wooden stumps break down it can cause the house to start to sag in places and eventually the weight of the house may cause it to lean to one side. If particular stumps are more damaged than others they can not only make the house structurally unsound but can become a real eyesore. The longer that you leave damaged stumps unrepaired the more your house will begin to show visible signs of decay. If you have any suspicions that there may be damage, be sure to phone Black and White Houseraising and Restumping and have your home inspected today.

house inspection

Integrity of Home Stumps Essential

If you live in a house that is suspended above timber or concrete stumps it is essential to regularly inspect them to ensure the integrity of your home is not undermined.

Why House Stumps Get Damaged

There are many reasons a stump may be starting to show its age:

  • Older style concrete stumps may have had the internal steel exposed to the elements. A form of rusting erosion can cause the concrete to crumble away from its core strength.
  • A timber post may be infested with white ants. These little critters can be slowly working away at the inside of your post and you may not even know it until you start to notice a particular creak or warp in the floor that was not there before.

Another cause of stump rot could be that there is moisture under the house and surrounding your stumps. Moisture around your stumps can come from a variety of sources:

  • It may be that the plumbing is also ageing and starting to show signs of that age by leaking under the house.
  • A weakened, sagging stump could be putting pressure on a join or pipe and cause a crack. A leak can create a knock-on effect and damage neighbouring stumps.
  • It may also be that the storm water  coursing through the property the house is situated on is not being encouraged to flow away from the house and could be pooling underneath it instead.

Signs of Stump Damage

With over 12 year’s industry experience, Black & White House Raising, offer the most reliable house raising and restumping service. They suggest these tips to help you to determine if you need to call in the professionals.

Your house may need restumping if:

  1. You notice that your walls or ceilings are forming cracks that indicate the house is moving.
  2. The floor feels like you are walking on a ship.
  3. You feel like you are climbing a mountain or sliding down a slide when you walk across certain areas in the house.
  4. Doors and windows do not open or close as smoothly as they should or they get stuck and cannot be opened.
  5. You notice water under the house or you can smell a sewer smell that may indicate damaged plumbing due to house movement.
  6. You see evidence of white ants in timber posts.

Should you discover any of these, it is best to let the professionals at examine your stumps to ascertain what repairs or replacements may be necessary.

house inspection

When Does Your House Need Restumping?

Many houses in Australia still have foundations made of timber stumps, whether cut from tree trunks or milled timber. Timber stumps are capable of withstanding rot and termite damage. However, even the most superior timber stumps will eventually succumb to rot, termite infestation or soil movement. This is when your house needs to be restumped .

What is Restumping?

Restumping, or re-blocking, entails getting rid of rotted old stumps and replacing them with new stumps. The process involves jacking up the area where the stump that needs to be replaced is located, and either packing out the existing stumps to compensate for settling or removing or replacing the stumps altogether.

Defective stumps are replaced with rot-resistant timber such as Victorian Red Gum or the more expensive concrete or galvanised steel stumps. Both options have their pros and cons. However, concrete or galvanised stumps are more popular these days because they do not have the weaknesses that most wood has. They do not rot, and are resistant to termites and warping. In addition, galvanised steel or concrete stumps can be firmly secured to the bearers, unlike wood.

Signs That Your House Needs Restumping

There are several indications that will tell you that your house may need immediate restumping. Creaking floors may be a sign that your floors are no longer level or that some stump has settled. Uneven, bowed or soft floors are an indication that stumps have settled or rotted and that the stumps have been dislodged from the bearers.

Cracks in the walls may be a sign that one portion of your home is sinking. Doors and windows that jam may be a sign that the structure around them is uneven.

Choosing a Restumping Expert

Restumping a house is quite complex. To ensure a perfect restumping, call an expert to do the job. Black & White House Raising guarantees that the structural integrity of your house will be restored when the job is completed. The company’s services range from a single stump replacement to an entire house restumping. Black & White House Raising uses good stump replacements like timber treated with copper chrome arsenate (CCA) or concrete stumps for longer life.

Get quotes from a few contractors. Make sure the quotes include the type of stump to be used, the number of stumps to be replaced and other pertinent information. In addition, make sure all quotes contain the same items. Bear in mind that the lowest quote may not be the best. It may contain a lesser number of stumps to be replaced or sub-standard stumping material. Be careful in choosing a stumping contractor to avoid extensive and costly mistakes. For more information on house restumping, visit

Signs That Your House Needs Restumping

Many homes in Australia stand on foundations made of wooden stumps. These timber stumps are robust and can support a house for many years. Still, stumps can deteriorate due to age, wear and soil erosion. Timber will weaken naturally when it becomes exposed to weather and changing soil conditions over the years. And sometimes timber deteriorates because of pest infestation such as termites. As your wooden stumps weaken, the foundation of your house may become uneven and unbalanced. Here are some telltale indications that your home may need a new foundation.

Uneven Floors

Sloping floors are possibly the most significant sign that rot has started in your foundation stumps. One sign that your floors may be slopping is if you feel like you are walking downhill or uphill in your home. You can do a simple test to see if your have uneven floors – roll a marble or small ball on the floor and find out whether it rolls one way.

Decay of Foundations Beneath the House

If there are signs of stump damage inside your home, chances are the stumps themselves will show visible signs of damage. Perform your own inspection to see if the wood has become damaged. It is wise to perform a routine examination of your stumps so you will be aware of the first sign of trouble.

Moisture Around the Foundation

If your foundation stump is exposed to constant moisture, then be aware that the stump is vulnerable to damage. Wood that is always moist attracts termites. They consider wood, or the cellulose fibre in the wood, as a food source. Termites will eat away at the foundation stump until it is all but a shell.

Other Signs of Stump Damage

Other common signs of structural instability due to stump damage are cracks in plaster work and brickwork, doors creaking or not closing properly, and windows that jam or that do not close. In addition, if your house was built before 1970 then the possibility is high that your foundation stump is due for replacing soon. This is a process known as re-blocking or restumping.

If you are not sure whether your foundation stump needs restumping, you can call an expert to inspect your stumps. A good restumping professional will discuss what the entire project involves as well as the cost. Old stumps are usually replaced with rot-resistant timber like Victorian Red Gum or galvanised steel stumps. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. But most homeowners choose concrete or galvanised stumps these days because they are less expensive, do not warp and are resistant to wood-eating pests like termites.

Timber House Stumps – Potential Dangers and What to Check For

When buying a house it is often the issues that you cannot see that will be the ones that could cause you the most trouble, so it is always important to look into things to ensure that you are getting what you want. The foundations of a house are one of the most important parts of a house because they underpin the structural integrity of buildings. The stumps are attached to both the house and the foundations, so if there is an issue with them it can mean the house is no longer safe to inhabit.

Cracks in Plaster, Concrete or Brickwork

A tell-tale sign that there is an issue with the structural integrity of the house or foundations can be cracks in the plaster, concrete or brickwork of the dwelling. Houses will shift slightly over time, but if you start to notice advanced cracking in the plaster walls, concrete or brickwork it may point to an issue with the foundations somewhere or with the stumps.

Uneven Floors/Jamming Doors and Windows

Other tell-tale signs of damaged stumps  can include uneven floors, or windows and doors that jam. If the stumps have rotted evenly the floor may appear solid, but this does not always indicate that there is not a problem as they may not have reached failure point yet. If the floor is badly sloping away from a brick fireplace this is a good sign that there is an issue that needs to be dealt with immediately.

Water Pooling Near Foundations

If you start to notice water pooling near the foundations or if you notice that there is a depression in the ground near the house, this could be a sign that there is something going on underground. A hole near the foundations needs to be filled to ensure that water does not get in and cause any more damage under the surface.

Checking Stumps

One way to check the condition of the timber stumps  (if you can gain access to the area) is to scrape away up to 100mm of the soil to check for the state of the stumps under the ground. It is best to check all of them as only checking one or two will not tell you everything you need to know. The worst stumps are the ones that have the most water marks or show serious deterioration, but this is not always evident unless you know what you are looking for.

Professional Services

Because your home is your castle, it pays to employ the services of an experienced restumping team such as Black & White House Raising and Restumping to ensure that you are not missing something and you are able to have peace of mind about the roof over your head. Having a professional such as someone from Black & White House Raising and Restumping check the foundations for you will tell you whether you need to do a full restumping or if you can get away with only replacing some of the stumps .

Continued Moisture Exposure In A Building : What Are The Signs?

If you are looking to buy a building and want to be sure that you are not going to have moisture issues in the future, you will want to know what the signs of continued exposure to moisture look like. While these signs are not a guarantee that the building has been continually exposed to moisture, if you do see any of them it makes sense to have things checked out further to save yourself expense and worry later. If an older home has recently been raised up  or restumped these signs could mean that the problem has already been tackled by a company such as Black & White House Raising and Restumping.


Depending on how much mould is present and how well-established it is under paintwork, floorboards and other hidden places, it can either be a short-term issue to get under control, or could point to issues with continued moisture in the building. Mould occurs from continued dampness, which can be caused by internal issues such as leaking pipes, or external moisture issues such as rainwater or rising damp.


If you find surface stains or stains on lifted surfaces then there is a good chance that the building has had continued exposure to moisture, which has likely caused an issue that is known as ‘rising damp’. The dreaded rising damp leaves markings because as the moisture dries it is drawn to the surface and gets trapped under paint and other surface finishes, leaving staining.


Another tell-tale sign of hidden moisture issues can be a crystallisation on surfaces of the building. If there is continued moisture rising up a wall that has salts from soil or bricks, the salt will crystallise and leave white marks on the surface as it is drying. It can look like a white coating and if it happens continuously it can cause damage to the bricks and mortar leading to a destabilising of the structure.

Should you have already bought a building and are now noticing any of these signs, all is not lost. Black & White House Raising and Restumping are experts in lifting houses up and out of places where there is continued exposure to moisture, which can make a huge difference to combating the issue. You may also find that the addition of extra space underneath the house affords room for storage or an extra room.