If you have an old wooden porch that was made with untreated wood, you may worry about the risk of a termite infestation. If so, use one or more of the following four tips to help keep termites from invading your front porch.
Replace Any Rotten Boards
If your front porch has any rotten boards, the first thing you need to do is replace them. When wood becomes rotten, it becomes extremely soft. This makes the termites' job easier when they are burrowing into the wood.
Plus, since rotting wood doesn't dry easily, the extra moisture provides a water source. This water along with a readily available food supply creates an environment that the termites will consider heavenly.
When replacing the boards, make sure you check the adjacent boards for signs of deterioration, as well as the supporting beams. Even if you only find small rotten areas, it is safer to go ahead and replace them. Even tiny areas of rotting wood can give the termites access to your porch.
Paint Your Porch
After replacing the old rotting boards with new ones, consider painting your porch instead of leaving the wood bare. The paint creates a surface barrier that is difficult for the termites to burrow through. If you do decide to paint the porch, use an oil-based paint that can resist moisture. Also, apply two coats to create a double barrier.
After painting will need to be vigilant about areas where any paint is peeling. More than likely, you will need to at least touch up the paint every year to keep the barrier intact.
Coat the Wood with Orange Oil
If you have no desire to paint your porch or want to keep the wood its natural color, you can coat the wood with orange oil. This oil is used in some termite control products because its odor and consistency are displeasing to termites. If you do not want to buy a commercial product, you can make your own instead.
To coat the wood with orange oil, combine a small, eight-ounce bottle with a gallon of water. Then, either pour it into a spray bottle and apply it by spraying it, or paint the wood with a paintbrush dipped in the solution.
While painting the wood with the solution gives you better control of where it will land, spraying can get the oil into smaller nooks and crannies where termites may decide to make a burrowing attempt. With either application method you use, you will need to repeat it once a month to keep the oil fresh.
Improve Air Circulation Around the Porch's Foundation
When your porch's foundation stays dark, wet, and covered with vegetation, this creates an attractive environment for the termites. It also increases the chance that your wood will start to rot, once again inviting the termites to take up residence.
Make sure you keep the area around your porch free from leaves, grass clippings, and mulch. If you have any plants or bushes planted along the sides of your porch, prune them in the back so there are several inches between them and the porch. This lets the air flow freely around the wood, helping to keep it dry.
Despite your efforts, you may find that termites have taken up residence inside the wood of your front porch. When this happens, do not try to take care of the problem yourself, as termites are tricky to exterminate. Instead, get more help from a residential pest control service to have them determine the extent of the problem and discuss options for getting rid of them.Share
21 June 2017
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