Termite Protected (H2-F)
What is termite protected plantation pine framing?
Termite protected plantation pine framing has been treated with either a water-based or natural oilbased
solution containing long acting synthetic pyrethroid insecticides.
The synthetic pyrethroid insecticides used to protect plantation pine framing have been chosen for
- For their proven effectiveness in controlling and repelling termites for up to 25 years; and, also
- For their inherent safety to humans, animals, and the environment.
Plantation pine timber used for framing is treated in a way which ensures protectant solutions are
allowed to cover and protect its whole surface. When dry, the pyrethroids bind with the surface of
the timber to provide a long lasting barrier against termite attack.
Under Australian Standards, termite protected plantation pine framing is classed as H2-F which
means it will resist termite attack in any areas of Australia south of the Tropic of Capricorn. (There
are also termite solutions for plantation pine framing available for use north of the Tropic of
What protectants are used?
The main termite protectants applied by Australias leading plantation pine framing manufacturers
are long acting synthetic pyrethroid insecticides: permethrin (applied using a natural oil base such
as linseed oil) and bifenthrin (using a water base). Both are effective at exceptionally low rates
(around two grams of pyrethroid per ten kilograms of dry timber or 0.02% of dry timber mass).
Synthetic pyrethroids are from the same class of insecticides as natural pyrethrin which is one of
natures most powerful yet environmentally gentle and safe pest management tools. Synthetic
pyrethroids share natural pyrethrinas inherent environmental gentleness and safety to humans and
non-target species. However, while they also break down naturally over time when disposed of and
do not accumulate in the environment, synthetic pyrethroids provide extended protection against
damaging insect pests.
Importantly, synthetic pyrethroids used to protect timber framing are also used routinely in
household insect sprays, domestic pest control, in body treatments (eg for head lice control) and in
the production of food crops. Also importantly, all timber preservatives are approved nationally by
the Agricultural Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) as well as State based
Why does plantation pine framing need to be protected against termites?
Subterranean termites are native to Australia and play an important role in nature, recycling dead
and rotting trees and other vegetation. However, especially in our warmer and wetter climatic
zones, where forests and bushland have been removed to make way for housing, termites can also
attack timber used in building construction as well as other cellulose based products. Termites can
attack a range of items in a house including skirting boards. cupboards and furniture, even paper
facings on plasterboard. Protecting all elements from attack is called whole of house protection
Importantly, however, whole of house protection of the building can only be achieved by taking a
complete, integrated approach to termite management including:
Australian building codes require that houses and other buildings be protected against concealed
termite entry by physical and/or chemical termite barriers. However, for a range of reasons,
barriers can sometimes be broken and breached.
H2-F Termite and borer protection for plantation pine timber frames is a relatively new technology
which became commercially available in 2004.
Where plantation pine timber frames have been treated with a termite protectant, structural
integrity is guaranteed for 25 years, providing owners and occupants with peace of mind. While the
guarantee is limited to 25 years, this does not necessarily mean the treatment becomes ineffective
after this time.
- Initiating regular professional checks of termite barriers and inspection of surrounds for
evidence of termite activity;
- Ensuring termite barriers are not compromised by being covered by soil or wood chips;
- Making sure any alterations or additions to buildings or building surrounds are themselves
protected by barriers or barrier extensions and that their construction does not damage or
interfere with existing barriers; and
- If termite entry is discovered or suspected, any infestations are treated by licensed professional
Does the termite protection affect the strength of the timber?
H2-F termite protection has no effect whatsoever on the strength of timber
Does the termite protection increase the flammability of the wood?
Termite protection has no effect whatsoever on timber flammability.
Importantly, plantation pine framing offers real benefits over steel framing in fire situations because
steel frames are prone to softening and buckling in extreme heat. By contrast, timber frames follow
a more predictable burning pattern and tend to support structural loads for longer in a fire.
What happens if termite protected plantation pine framing is cut after it has been
If termite protected timber has been cut, there is minimal risk of termite attack through the cut ends
especially if the cut end abuts a frame, however, more specific advice can be gained from
What happens if termite protected plantation pine framing is planed or otherwise had
its surface breached after it has been treated?
If termite protected timber has been planed or had its protected surface otherwise removed or
breached, it is recommended that the unprotected surface be painted over with a proprietary
protectant containing a long acting synthetic pyrethroid and allowed to dry naturally to provide allover
protection in the long term.
Are termite protected timber wastes (end cuts, sawdust, etc.) hazardous?
Any waste which occurs as the result of using H2-F termite protected plantation pine timber framing
is regarded as non-hazardous to the health and safety of people or the environment because
synthetic pyrethroids are biodegradable and do not bio-accumulate. It is advisable, however, to
avoid inhaling dusts and using treated timber for cooking food or domestic heating.
How do I dispose of waste and off-cuts?
One of the benefits of using termite protected timber framing is that waste is minimised by treating
the timber after it has been dressed and moulded. However any waste which occurs as the result of
using treated timber is regarded as non-hazardous because synthetic pyrethroids are biodegradable
and do not bio-accumulate.
Normal domestic and trade users can dispose of waste through normal waste collection and
disposal services or through industrial incineration.
It is recommended, however, that treated timber off-cuts should not be used as domestic heating or
cooking fuel or supplied for mulching or animal bedding.
How long will the protection last?
In light of CSIRO research, the timber industry is confident that the synthetic pyrethroids used to
protect plantation pine timber framing will maintain structural integrity against termite and borer
attack for at least 25 years, and backs this up with an industry-wide guarantee.
Will pre-installation weathering reduce protection?
Not within the period of normal construction . However, as part of good building practice, it is
recommended that termite protected plantation pine frames be stored under cover.
Is termite protection available across all typical sizes of plantation pine frames?
Does the treatment affect the performance of nails and plates?
Synthetic pyrethroid based protectants are non-corrosive and will not impact on the long term
holding strength of normal bright steel nails and plates.
Does the treatment affect paint or adhesives?
In most situations, timber frames are not visible finished structures and are not painted.However, if painting is required, steps may need to be taken to avoid discolouration of the paint by
any marker dye that is used to show treatment has been successfully applied. A number of
commercial sealants and primers are suitable but one should always check with the framing
manufacturer before applying any paint material. Once dry, treatment should not affect most
adhesives, including plasterboard adhesives, however, further advice should be sought from the
adhesive manufacturer or framing timber manufacturer ( see list below).
Why are some protectants natural oil-based and others water based?
A number of plantation pine timber framing manufacturers have chosen to use permethrin-based
protection, which works best when applied using a natural oil-base while others have opted to use
bifenthrin, which is applied using a water base. Both approaches work equally well.
How can I tell if pine framing has been termite protected?
H2F termite protected plantation pine timber framing is differentiated by most manufacturers by a
pale blue stain which is applied at the time of treatment. In practice, the dye may fade during
transport and onsite storage and erection, however, termite protected plantation pine frames will be
marked with an H2F brand and other information which shows they have been treated. Structural
timber components will also be marked or branded with a structural grade.
Should termite protected plantation pine framing be handled differently to other
timber framing materials?
No. There is no need to handle or treat H2F termite protected plantation pine framing any
differently " use gloves, eye and respiratory protection when handling and cutting timber products.
Does termite protected plantation pine framing cost more?
The price difference between protected and unprotected plantation pine framing is small, typically,
the cost of treatment is less than one percent of the value of the average house: a small price to pay
for 25 years of added peace of mind and a significantly value-enhanced housing asset.