Termites are public enemy number one for any homeowner, but homeowners that live in the "Termite Belt" of the United States should be especially cognizant, even if they don't know they live in an area so conducive to the little wood chewers. While the specific location of the Termite Belt isn't universally agreed upon, the consensus seems to focus on the Gulf Coast and the southeastern United States. If you live in these areas, you should always be on the lookout for termites, particularly in your fences, where they can fly under the radar far more easily than in your home. Here are some tips for making sure your fences don't fall victim to the endless swarms of termites in this part of the country.
Build with Specially Treated Wood
If you want to preserve your fence while holding onto the natural beauty of wood, then there are options for chemically treated wood designed to inhibit termites. Most pressure treated woods will have inherent anti-insect capabilities, and products treated with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper boron azole (CBA) are great alternatives to potentially poisonous, arsenic-laden pressure treated woods of yesteryear.
Use Vinyl or Composite
Vinyl or composite fencing is another termite-free fencing option that many homeowners find attractive since this option is less likely to lose value and appearance quality than a wooden fence. In particular, composite fencing allows a homeowner to mimic the look of natural wood very closely without risking the havoc that a nest full of termites can bring to the real thing. Composite fencing is also very affordable, with many options rivaling the cost of a high-end cedar fence while still offering excellent bug protection.
Protect Your Existing Wood Fence
If you already have a wooden fence installed but want to protect it against termites, the waters can get a little muddy. While there are anti-termite finishes and stains on the market to protect against the nasty little bugs, these treatments only cover the above ground parts of your fence, which are ironically where termites can get to first. In order to do a thorough job with these products, you would have to dig up your existing fence in order to get to the critical subterranean parts of your fence that need this treatment the most, provided your fence is set in dirt and not concrete. If you're willing to put in this much time and effort, however, the cost savings can be big since you can keep your existing fence as-is. However, a fence set in concrete would have less of an issue with below-ground termite resistance since this wood is already protected by its own footing. Contact a company, such as York Fence, for more information.
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