Having an outdoor deck in your garden is a really wonderful feature that can be used for summer evening barbecues, cocktail evenings, and a safe place for the kids to play. What isn't quite so great about a timber decking is that, if you don't take certain precautions, it could wind up infested by termites that simply love wood, and that could spread to other parts of your home and garden.
Most contractors that create a deck know exactly what they are doing so that you can have the most beautiful and long-lasting deck that doesn't attract termites or any other nasty critters, but it certainly doesn't hurt to know about what elements can help prevent termites. Here are a few things to consider and run by your contractor just in case:
The type of wood. The decking timber you choose for your outdoor space is the most important decision of all for the way your deck will look, for how strong it will be, and for how resistant it will be to termites. Fortunately, there are quite a few native Australian woods that are naturally resistant to termites and make for great decking. Some good options include spotted gum, stringy bark, jarrah and blackbutt.
Allow for empty space around the deck. Termites love humidity, and if there isn't a great deal of airflow around the deck, you will be encouraging termites to make a cosy home inside the wood. Make sure that you are clear with your contractors that you don't want solid sides to your deck and that you also want some space underneath the deck. Not only is space underneath the deck ideal for increasing airflow, but it also gives the opportunity to check for termites from underneath.
Regular maintenance. Unfortunately, a beautiful deck is not something that can be constructed and then left to its own devices for years to come. In order to preserve the beauty, integrity and termite-free nature of your deck, you will need to apply a sealant at least once a year to protect the wood from termites and to protect from water damage at the same time. You should also invest in an annual termite inspection because it is much easier to be rid of termites in the early stages, before they move on to other parts of your home.
Follow these tips and you'll have an outdoor deck that stands the test of time, termite free.