Whether you live in a region with termite problems or just want to educate yourself about the risks of timber construction, timber frame termites are a valid concern. Luckily, you can take some practical steps with timber frame residential construction to protect your home from pests.
Both how and where your home is built directly impact its susceptibility to termites. Therefore, educating yourself on building materials, construction methods, and regions where termites are found is a great first step in termite protection for timber frame homes.
Whether you have a timber frame house or a stick-built home, your home can be susceptible to termites. These insects are attracted to the cellulose in wood, making the structure of a timber frame home an ideal target for termite infestation. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of termite damage. For example, using treated lumber or naturally resistant wood species can help deter termites.
What Regions of the World Have Termite Problems?
While over 2,000 termite species are known to exist, only a small fraction of these reside within the United States and Canada. The Terminix website tells us, “about 20 [of these] species fall into the structural pest category ” that can damage your home. The most destructive species are “drywood, dampwood, and subterranean termites” found in coastal and humid regions of North America.
Overall, termites are far less of a problem in the U.S. and Canada than in tropical regions of the world – especially in Asia and Australia. Amazingly, estimates show that termites in Australia cause $1.5 billion in damage to homes every year.
Whether you are building a timber frame home in a tropical or temperate climate, there are several steps you can take to guard against timber frame termites.
Perhaps the most effective way to protect your timber frame home from termites is to use types of wood that deter pests such as termites. For example, when Hamill Creek has an order for a home in Hawaii, we use Western Red Cedar because termites are repelled by resin and oil within the wood.
Another important step in termite prevention is treating wood with the proper chemicals. When Hamill Creek has a client in the tropics, we are always sure to treat wood with Sansin Boracol. This product penetrates into the wood to ensure it is protected from timber frame termites as well as fungi.
It’s also a great idea to put physical barriers in your timber frame home to keep termites out. If you are building on a slab foundation, seal up any gaps where termites might be able to enter. In these situations, stainless steel mesh can do a great job of keeping termites at bay.
At Hamill Creek, our clients come to us over other timber frame companies for more than just a unique home. People also trust us to advise them on the most durable and long-lasting timber frame residential construction methods. Contact us to learn more about termite protection for timber frame homes.