If you are building a home with a timber frame, you may be worried that the wood may get infected by termites. There are steps you can take to protect it. Keep these tips in mind:
1. Make Sure the Building Site Is Termite Free
When you clear land that has a lot of trees or brush on it, there may be subterranean colonies of termites under the ground. It's important to make sure those colonies are eradicated before you start building. Ideally, you should burn all the old wood. Make sure that you don't bury any wood—that can really attract termites.
2. Make Sure the Timber Frame Does Not Come Into Direct Contact With the Ground
If the timber framing touches the soil directly, that creates a conduit for termites to easily walk from the soil into your frame. To prevent that, make sure that no timber touches the ground. If you have a sole plate, make sure that is metal or resting on a concrete frame. Similarly, if you are putting in pilings, they should be metal instead of timber.
3. Consider Termite-Resistant Timber
Whether the timber frame touches the ground or not, you should consider termite resistant timber. This is timber that has been treated with chemicals. Generally, these are the same chemicals that are used in shampoo for head lice or on flea collars. You don't have to worry about it being overly toxic.
4. Don't Store the Timber on Your Building Site
If you let the timber wall frames lay around the building site for days or weeks until you are ready to use it, that increases the chances that it might be infested with termites before you even need to use it. If possible, try to keep the timber off site in a covered, climate-controlled storage facility until you are ready to use it.
If you have to store the timber on site, don't store it directly on the ground. Put it on breeze blocks or a trailer. Also, keep it covered with a tarp, but leave a bit of slack in the tarp so that air can circulate underneath it to prevent the buildup of unwanted condensation.
5. Make Sure the Wood Is Dry
When you are using fresh timber, you need to ensure that it is dry and ready to use. If you put it in whilst it is still too green and wet, it may be more likely to be susceptible to rot as well as termite damage.