As any termite inspector can tell you, termites cause massive damage to Australian homes year after year.
In the 25 years that Clayton Whitely has been a pest inspector in Sydney he’s constantly had to deliver bad news to homeowners. “I do between 10 and 20 inspections a week and I can’t remember a week where I haven’t found of evidence of damage. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new or old home termites aren’t fussy. I’ve seen them eat hardwood, pine and treated pine house frames”.
Unfortunately, the majority of termites live along Australia’s coastal regions just like the majority of Australians. So here are a few sensible precautions you can take to minimise damage.
1. If your house is a concrete slab-on-ground construction, leave at least 75mm of the slab exposed. Weep holes between brickwork should also be exposed. As for gardens, don’t deposit soil above the edge of the slab – it’ like a welcome mat for termites allowing them to bypass barriers without detection.
2. Ensure termite caps and strips are not damaged or breached. These precautionary measures don’t prevent termites entering your home but they do force them into the open where they can be more easily detected.
3. Leaking taps and pipes raise the moisture level around your home and in your soil. And if there’s one thing subterranean termites like for nesting, it’s moisture. So make sure your plumbing is in good condition.
4. Ventilation in the sub-floor areas of your property should be adequate to minimise humidity and moisture levels. If necessary, consider using extraction fans as well ventilated areas will reduce the risk of subterranean termites.
5. Termites love wood, not steel. In fact, steel is 100% termite resistant so wherever possible use steel for your house frames, footings and fencing.
6. If you’re making gardens or building retaining walls make sure to used treated timber. Also, don’t grow climbing plants on your walls or bushy gardens beside them as they allow undetected entry to your house. Even the roots of some plants can penetrate your property’s foundations so be alert to what’s happening in your yard.
7. Termites see dead trees, stumps and stored timber as five-star hotels so get rid of them.
8. If you’re considering alterations or additions to your home ensure they don’t interfere with existing termite barriers and that they too are properly protected.
Most home insurance policies don’t cover your home for termite damage. So reduce your risks by having your home inspected regularly by an authorised pest inspector. Better still, have your house frame made from TRUECORE® steel.