A strong advice we can give you is to check any wooden structures in your flat for woodlice, termites or other plagues. In Barcelona's Gothic quarter it is not uncommon to have at least one of them eating your flat and we haven’t been speared! The little holes in the wooden beams have been diagnosed to be the work of woodlice. So we won’t waste any time in treating the wood as the beasts keep feasting and there won’t be much of a Finca left in a few years.
We read somewhere that the most eco-friendly way to get rid of them is to hang chestnuts (or was it hazelnuts?) in a net from the beams. For the woodlice it’s a delicacy so once they are all enjoying the nuts instead of your beams you just throw them out with the nuts. For all eco-friendly we are trying to be this sounds a bit like the tale of the Rat Catcher from Hamelin by the Brothers Grimm so we looked into more conventional methods to save our wood.
In order to treat the wood against woodlice we have to strip the wood of varnish and paint (or you'd have to drill holes into the wood in order to inject the product). Stripping can be done with heat (quite a long, difficult & expensive process depending on how many layers of paint you are trying to get rid of), chemical products (obviously not the most eco-friendly way) or sand blasting.
We opted for the latter since it doesn’t involve any chemicals and turned out to be fairly economical as well (€12/meter). We did it with the company Sorrejats Huracá who did a great job and cleaned the 130 meters of beam plus the brick wall in one day. More about the remaining woodlice and wood treatment in the next article.