How to Maintain a Healthy Timber Home

Currently, timber is the most commonly used building material for the frames of Australian houses. Timber is used due to its cheap cost, light weight, and overall durability, and is a material that can be installed reasonably quickly with minimal labour. Timber, however, can develop many problems if it is not cared for appropriately.

Source Dry Timber

If you are constructing a home, ensure that the timber sourced for your housing frame is reasonably dry. If there is too much moisture present in your timber frame, it will gradually shrink and warp, as the water evaporates from the timber fibres. Timber frames that contain a lot of moisture can even warp to the point that it compromises the structural integrity of your home. To avoid this, it is recommended that unseasoned timber, that is timber with a moisture content of 25% or above, should not be used as house framing. Instead it is recommended that you use seasoned timber, with moisture content of 15% or below.

Protect your Timber against Fire

In addition to ensuring your timber is dry, it is also important to protect your timber frame against fire, rot and termites. The predominance of Australia is dry and arid and as such at risk of bush fires. It is therefore recommended that all timber frames are coated with fire retardants to make them resistant to flames and heat. In Australia, there are two main fire retardants used: intumescent coatings and impregnation systems. Both coatings act as a barrier and protect the timber from fire and extreme heat damage.

Protect your Timber against Rot

Your timber also needs to be protected from rot and decay caused certain species of fungi that can infiltrate the timber. These fungi can lie dormant in the wood until they come into contact with moisture, which encourages fungi growth, and eventually rot. To prevent timber decay it is important that there is adequate drainage around your house’s frame and that there is appropriate ventilation. All timber in your home should be coated with a finish or surface coating to prevent moisture penetration and spread. If rot does appear despite your prevention techniques, it is important to treat it with timber preservatives that kill the existing decay.

Protect your Timber against Termites

Another common issue with timber frames is its susceptibility to termite attacks. Termites eat wood as part of their diet and timber, as a readily available wood source, timber is seen as food by termites. Termites usually eat from the inside outwards and therefore hard to spot. There are some tell-tale signs that your could have termites: spotting small white ant like creatures in your home, flight holes in timber where termites have exited or a corrugated like appearance in your timber.

Keeping the timber framing in your home healthy is vital if you want to keep your home structurally safe and sound. If you are concerned that your timber frame may contain termites, or wood decay, contact Trusted Pest Management Brisbane.

By Grace Patterson

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