Protecting your home against termites

An extensive AUSTRALIAN STANDARD (As3660 Protection of buildings from subterranean termites) deals with protecting homes from termite attack. This standard provides minimum guidelines for home owners, builders and pest controllers on termite control and protection. The Building Code of Australia which is administered by local government authorities, requires various measures be taken when your home is built.

Termites may still gain entry though if you don’t take basic steps to help maintain the defences to your home that have been put in place by your Termite Engineer.

How you can help ensure your home remains safe

  1. Always follow the guidelines and recommendations issued by your builder and Termite Engineer. They are designed to ensure maximum protection.
  2. A termite barrier abutting the perimeter walls of your home is essential to protecting your home. You must avoid disturbing this barrier. If it is disturbed then entry by subterranean termites is possible. If you have not had this barrier applied yet then your home remains fully exposed to future destruction by termites.
  3. Any termite protection program can be rendered ineffective if building alterations or additions are made. The construction of pergolas, awnings, veranda’s, etc can provide a route of entry into the protected property.
  4. With concrete slab homes it is important that you ensure the edge of the slab is left exposed and that the weep holes in between the bricks, found immediately above the slab, are also left exposed. By building up gardens or soil levels over the edge of the slab, termites can gain undetected entry into your home and breach the established barriers.
  5. With suspended floor homes any material that may be conducive to termite infestation, including any form-work, timber, tree stumps and similar materials must be kept out of the subfloor and away from the external walls of your home.
  6. Ensure that termite shielding is not damaged or breached in any way (metal strips around the foundation). Termite shields do not prevent termite entry. They do force termites out into the open so as they can be detected by regular inspection.
  7. Ensure leaking taps, showers, pipes etc under the home or adjacent to it are immediately repaired in order to reduce moisture levels in the sub floor.
  8. Ensure that vents to subfloor areas are never blocked. These keep the subfloor dry so termites are not attracted to the area.
  9. Do not use untreated timbers to form a garden beds or retaining walls as these will attract termites.

If you intend to make changes that may affect the protection of your home, as mentioned above, then ensure you contact your Termite Engineer first.

Concrete paving is a great idea!

You can greatly enhance the security of your home by constructing a one wide concrete path, around the entire perimeter of your home. If installed correctly, termites will have to build a mud tube across the pathway to gain entry and can then be easily dealt with.

The path, however, must be protected first. This is done through the installation of a soil barrier by your Termite Engineer.

Regular inspections

The Australian Standard and the Australian Building Standards Advisory Council recommend inspections at least every 12 months. Your Termite Engineer will perform this inspection for you.

He will perform a thorough survey of your property, including the garden area and trees where termite nests may be found, and provide you with a full written report detailing the results of his inspection. Appropriate recommendations on treatment and measures you should take to help ensure the security of your home will be outlined.

If you find any evidence of termites, damaged timbers, mud workings, then immediately contact your licensed Termite Engineer.

Do not disturb the workings in any way. Left undisturbed your Termite Engineer will be better able to tailor an eradication program to suit your home.

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