Tuesday, February 27, 2007

If Only It Had Been Built With Dade County Pine

I recently had the house repainted and that also required replacing some termite damaged wood around the eaves. Years ago, before my house was constructed back in 1949, a favored wood in south Florida was Dade county pine. Found only in the very southern end of the state of Florida this species of pine is extremely hard. It was cut a milled while still green so it wouldn't wear out the saw blades so rapidly, and then when it was nailed in place, also while still green, the wood would shrink a bit as it dried, tightening its grip around the nails. This resulted in a very hurricane proof structure.

The other big advantage of Dade County pine is that termites have way too much sense to try to eat the stuff. I have no idea if they like the flavor or not, but they tend to go after wood that's easy to chew. This wood isn't! Instead they find houses like mine and have a feast. Every eight to ten years the exterminator comes and tents the house, filling it with poison gas to kill all the termites. A few weeks after that happened I had Roy Taylor and his crew over to replace any damaged wood and paint the house. In this photograph one of them is nailing some new wood into place. Now I'm termite free and the house looks great again.

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