Designing and building a deck for your property is a rewarding project to work on. However, before you reap its valuable benefits for your outdoor living, you have to allot a considerable amount of time, research and planning. This is to ensure that you can attain your dream deck that suits your requirements and preferences.
Some may think that pest issues like termite or ant infestations can be taken lightly. However, if the problem is not immediately addressed, these creeping insects can affect the structural integrity of your deck and can even infect your home after a year.
At Ipswich Landscaping, we want our customers to enjoy and make the most of their outdoor structures for the longest time possible. However, several issues can shorten a deck’s lifetime. If you are scouring for ways to protect your deck from termite infestation, we got you covered. Check out these simple solutions to avoid extensive damages caused by termite infestation.
Block out moisture
Preventing the problem before it happens is certainly better than finding possible solutions, so we want to find proactive tips to help our customers effectively maintain their deck. Like any other living organisms, ants, termites, and other bugs or insects need food and water source to survive. That is why blocking out the possible sources of moisture is a vital step in preventing the termites from thriving in your deck.
As much as possible, you have to keep your deck’s surfaces dry. Get rid of any standing water around your outdoor living area. Besides that, you also have to ensure no leaks or drainage issues in areas near your deck.
Avoid direct contact with the soil
If you will use timber for your deck, it is vital to have them properly treated because there is a probability that they will be in contact with the ground. Untreated timber faces a greater risk of termite infestation compared to decks made of hardwood or pressure-treated timber. However, even if you are using treated timber, you have to ensure that it is not frequently exposed to moisture because there is a possibility that the treatment will be extracted out of the wood, and the protection will be lost.
At Ipswich Landscaping, we recommend that your deck’s footings are not directly laid into the soil. You can opt to mount them on metal stirrups to ensure that they can have ample clearance of around three or four inches off the ground.
Do not cover weep holes
Weep holes are standard features on bricks or windows of homes because they create a passage for water to escape. However, some homeowners may tend to cover these weep holes with grass clippings, vegetation, garden beds, soil, or mulch. Weep holes should not be covered, and there should be enough distance between the soil and each weep hole to ensure that it can serve its purpose. If you cover the weep holes entirely or in part, it will be harder to visually check the usual sign of termite infestation – mud trails.
Once the termites have access to your walls, they can easily travel to your home and outdoor living areas. The termites can begin to feed on your deck’s framework after a few weeks when it is not immediately resolved. To prevent this, make sure that there is at least 75 mm clearance from the ground level and the bottom edge of the weep holes. Do not block the weep holes with sealant, concrete or pavers because the water will be forced into your home and cause drainage issues.