Termite Prevention In Log Homes
Summary: Hansel and Gretel dreamed of dwelling in a gingerbread house where they could take a tasty bite out of the walls whenever they were hungry. Termites might dream of living in a log cabin for the same reason. Learn about termite prevention in log homes here.
A secluded log cabin surrounded by trees is the dream of many people seeking charm and comfort in their home. You just don't want that log cabin to be visited by any unwanted guests like termites. Luckily, log homes are not at much more risk to termite damage than other wooden frame built houses. In fact, the exposed wood in log homes makes it easier to detect any invasion of termites or other wood boring pests.
There are many things you can do to establish termite prevention in log homes. Pre-construction treatments, of course, can be done during the building of your home. The logs need to be treated to prevent termites from even thinking about your home as a food source. Wood can be pressure treated with chemicals that make the wood an undesirable habitat for termites. Borate treatments are now a common prevention method. Borates do not change the appearance of the wood and it has low toxicity to mammals and the environment. Borates provide protection from insects and fungus and are long lasting.
Using high quality lumber that resists moisture will also help keep termites looking for more enticing environs. Chemically treated lumber can be coated with a stain which also is less attractive to termites. Sometimes an additive is included in the stain to provide extra protection. If the stain on the wood is wearing off, or some kind of environmental wear and tear is apparent, then the stain should be reapplied.
The logs are not the only exposed wood on a log home. Floor joists, sill plates and pier assemblies are often forgotten wood components of your house that should be protected. A bent piece of metal called a termite shield or termite barrier can be installed as a foundation cap to prevent termites from climbing from the foundation of your house to the sill plate. Protecting the vulnerable components of the house is the first step.
Speak with your contractor to make sure he is not burying any wood scraps under your house or around the foundation. Decomposing wood is the perfect starting place for termites to build a colony so you don't want to give them any help. Have all tree stumps removed from the property, as well.
Termites need moisture to survive, so preventing water damage to your home may be the most important part of termite prevention after the home has been completed.
- Gutters should be cleaned regularly and checked to ensure that the water is draining away from the foundation.
- Remove leaves and debris from around the house and don't allow mulch to build up on foundation walls to the point it is touching the wood siding or brick veneer.
- Direct water sprinklers away from the house.
- Make sure that any air conditioning unit is not dripping water onto exposed wood.
- Ventilate crawlspaces to lower humidity.
- Make sure that there is no mold or fungus growing on the wood outside of the house.
These tips will prevent wood from rotting help with termite control. Look for discolored wood, blistering paint, or other signs of wood damage as a fist sign of a termite attack.
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