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railway sleepers.

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  1. #1
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    Default railway sleepers.

    hi all, newbie here needing help.

    i have just receaved railway sleepers for my garden beds and since been informed by many people how much termites love to eat them. not wanting to attract unwanted termites to my house but still wanting to use sleepers.

    so is there a method of treating the sleepers with soming? eg sump oil work??

    cheers Aaron

  2. #2
    Diamond Member Terrian's Avatar
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    I have heard the same stories, time & time again, I have seen no evidence though, I have a few sleeper walls around here, maybe we are just not in a termite area...

  3. #3
    Mr Sexy Beast dazzler's Avatar
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    If they are aussie hardwood and well and truly seasoned they should last just about forever. The house should be termite proofed anyway so if they are hardwood and the house is pest protected I reckon its okay.
    I just love sheepies!

  4. #4
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    i know some houses in the area have been affected by termites. not sure if the house is treated for them dure to the age of the building.

    im not to sure what to do?

  5. #5
    ..|.. BobL's Avatar
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    If you soak them in sump oil they burn extra well! Just kidding

    On my old retaining wall and 70's style sunken pergola I painted the sleepers with sump oil before making the wall and termites still came in and ate a couple but left the others untouched. I think the sump oil breaks down in time and although you can keep painting the exposed sides that doesn't help. The other thing was, setting up a wall made of oily sleepers was an absolute pig of a job. Another thing I don't like about sump oil is you can't go near the sleepers for a long time afterwards without getting dirty.

    Over 10 years the biggest problem the wall had was fishbone ferns, they just penetrated the cracks and the sleepers and split them open.
    . . . making saw and metal dust helps keeps me sane

  6. #6
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    working in sump oil all day i didnt want tocome home to find my garden covered with it as well.

    i think if there is no quick inexpensive way to treat the sleepers i will just keep a good eye on them and if i find activity will make brick ones.

  7. #7
    Landscaper Planned LScape's Avatar
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    Or the alternative may be to do your wall, finish your garden then get a termite guy to treat the soil. Bare in mind that they will say that it will have to be done last, as after the soil is turned over or disturbed it has to be reapplied.

    Also put in good drainage and backfillfill your sleepers allowing a good depth of garden soil so that it keeps wet soil off your timber thus preventing rot. Not sure what a termy guy charges but it beats mucking around with sump oil anyway
    Planned Landscape Constructions

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzadazza View Post
    hi all, newbie here needing help.

    i have just receaved railway sleepers for my garden beds and since been informed by many people how much termites love to eat them.
    This is correct. Don't believe any stories about treatment with sump oil. All it does make the timber look good for a while.
    We replaced our railway sleeper retaining wall last year (20m x 2m high).
    Noticed few white ants, called pest control & had it treated. After 3 months of treatment termites were gone. So we thought...
    Decided to replace the wall anyway as mate of mine could do it cheaply + got a good deal on Allan blocks - very glad I did!
    ALL the sleepers had termites in them. Some looked fine, but were totally destroyed from the inside.
    I know of another 4 people in the area with walls bigger then mine that are collapsing due to termite damage.
    It's just not worth it IMHO.


    Cheers
    Arek

  9. #9
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    Default Whiteants

    Don't kid yourselves people .. if you are North of the Murray (or thereabouts), and have damp soil, you are running an increased risk of getting the little buggers.

    And no-one wants them around under any avoidable circumnstances. So don't do it.

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