Today, we’ll cover options for log home owners that are experiencing infestation or pest problems and a treatment option that we perform regularly and highly recommend.
If your log home has fallen victim to termites or wood boring beetles, fumigation may be your only viable solution. While considered a “quick fix”, fumigation is a successful tool when you’re needing immediate, albeit temporary, results. It’s crucial to take accurate moisture readings prior to fumigating, ensuring that your reading is far deeper than just the exterior log. There should be little to no log moisture for successful fumigation.
Spot treatment aren’t typically effective when dealing with wood boring beetles, but may be somewhat effective against Old House Borers. Spot treating involves locating and isolating the individual larvae, usually at night when they’re most active. You must get within a couple inches of the larvae which sometimes proves to be quite difficult. People have had luck with using stethoscopes.
Borate treatments are probably your best bet in prevention before an infestation can occur. One must ensure that no water repellent has been used on the logs before performing any borate treatments. You can test this by spraying the wood with water, preferably a misting spray. Just as a windshield with Rain-X, the water will bead up and drop off if the wood has been treated. Ensure that you check the areas of your home that are typically protected from the weather (such as roofs, eaves, etc). Treatments tend to last much longer in these areas. If a water repellent is present, you must remove it before treating the logs. If you plan on treating the interior as well as the exterior, the same method can be used to find out if they’ve been treated.
Removing water repellent is crucial to the treatment process because the wood must be penetrated in order for the borate to be successful. If the borate doesn’t soak into the wood, it will crystalize and leave white deposits on your wood. If any type of finisher is added on top of of borate and a water repellent is present, it’s almost impossible to clean the logs without fully stripping them.
Borate may be applied when all logs are cleaned and dry. A deceiving tip: borate penetrates damp wood faster than dry wood. The logs shouldn’t be wet when applying the treatment. Wetting the logs fills the surface with water which prevents the treatment from actually soaking in. After borate is applied, you should take care to add water repellent on top.