Structural problems of wooden members are quite prevalent and occasionally require the services of a structural engineer. Some of Australia's wooden frame houses are prone to decay and damage. Keep ahead of the game by conducting the following maintenance practices:
1. Always Check a Timber Frame for Damage
Moisture deterioration is the biggest enemy of timber frame trusses, causing massive decay and beetle infestation. One needs to always check the source of dampness such as leaking gutters, flashings, or inappropriate external cement renders and address the problems immediately.
Another risk is from beetle infestation. One should test this by prodding with a penknife. Healthy timber will resist any penetration. However, this shouldn't be a problem in case the infestation is historic rather than active.
2. Perform Wood Treatment
Timber used for roof constructions needs proper treatment to increase its lifespan. One of the best ways to treat wood is through pressure-treatment. Pressure-treated wood is immersed in a preservative and placed in a pressure chamber to force the chemical into the core of the piece of timber. Soaking in a chemical preservative is not adequate to resist insect and fungal infestations.
3. Conduct Repairs As Soon As They Are Visible
One should never assume that timber needs replacing. Repairs should, however, be approached with caution. One cost-effective repair method is using metal straps to hold decayed elements together. A strap causes the least disturbance to the fabric, and the procedure is reversible in case it fails.
- Repairs with the Brandering Reinforcement "T"
Although wood should replace a damaged timber truss, the Brandering Reinforcement "T" prevents any further damage from water and insect infestation. It should, therefore, be considered as a valid type of repair.
- Gluing Matching Replacement Wood
Tension members should be cut out and replaced with new wood having the same moisture content, grain, and quality. However, decayed compression members section can be cut and glued to matching replacement wood.
- Protect a Home with non-Treated Wood
Homeowners who initially did not treat their timber wall frames or roof trusses can apply a product with an active Boron ingredient. Oil paint provides minimal protection and may not adequately protect wood against destructive insects or fungi. Most of these Boron products are environmentally friendly and so can be applied in closed spaces with a sprayer or paint brush.
In conclusion, maintenance reduces the cost of replacing an entire timber frames trusses due to damages. As a result, it will enhance the house's lifespan and maintain its value.