Wood Treated Trusses: Protect Your Attic And Roof From Formosan Termites

If Formosan termites invaded your home recently, you probably had the home treated or tented to get rid of them. But if you didn't take steps to protect the trusses in your attic, the damages caused by Formosan termites can endanger the stability and performance of your roof. Wood treated trusses are fast becoming a necessity in areas of the United States that experience termite infestations.

The lumber used for treated trusses contain special chemical additives, such as borate, that can repel Formosan termites before they attack. Here's what you should know about Formosan termites and their destruction of your wood treated trusses, as well as how your roofing contractor protects your home.

What Are Trusses?

Trusses are large beams or pieces of lumber that support and strengthen your home's attic, roof and walls. Trusses essentially hold the home together and protect it from high winds, heavy rains and intense snowstorms. 

Building contractors and roofers use steel nails and other parts to connect the beams together in the shape of a pyramid. The pyramid also forms the shape of the attic after construction. The sides and tops of your trusses interlock or crisscross together to reinforce the pyramid. 

When the wood inside your trusses lose integrity in one or more areas, the entire attic loses support. The weight of your roof presses down on the weakened wood, leaving your ceiling and the rooms below it vulnerable to cave-ins.

How Do Formosan Termites Weaken Your Trusses?

Pest control recognizes Formosan termites as the most destructive wood-boring insects in the United States. The pests create tiny openings on the wood to enter it. But instead of eating all areas of the wood, the termites make long tunnels inside the trusses.

The tunnels weaken the structural shape and strength of the trusses. Even if you destroyed every termite in your home through tenting, the destruction left behind in your trusses still places your roof at risk for collapsing. 

How Do Wood Treated Trusses Strengthen Your Attic and Roof?

Wood treated trusses feature one of the most effective pest control chemicals on the market: borate. Borate, also known as sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is a strong but safe preservative that has a low toxicity. In addition, borate contains water-resistant properties that stops rotting and other moisture damage in trusses after your roofer installs them.

Your roofing contractor follows a special procedure during the installation of your wood treated trusses. The first step in the installation process is to examine the attic to see how much termite damage it has in it. If the Formosan termites ate through the wood deck that connects the attic's floorboards to the home's ceilings, the roofers must replace these as well.

The next step is to replace the termite damaged trusses with wood treated trusses. The roofer measures the length and width of the original trusses in order to calculate and cut the correct sizes for the wood treated trusses.

The original builder constructed the other parts of the home's foundation around the trusses' measurements. Remember, trusses support the home and its foundation, so it's important to replace them with trusses of the same width, thickness, length, and height.

The final step of the repairs and replacements is to examine the foundation beneath the roof itself. If the termites penetrated the wood in this location, your roofers will replace it. The same goes with the underlayment. Structural damage can leave all other parts of the roof open to heat and moisture damage.

After your roofing contractor completes the job, your new wood treated trusses and repaired attic and roof should protect your home from future termite damage.

If you have questions about wood treated trusses or Formosan termite damage to your roof and attic, contact a roofing contractor, such as Central Mass Building & Construction, today.


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