Tips for protecting your home from termite attack
Any structure can be attacked by Timber Pests. Periodic maintenance should include measures to minimise possibilities of infestation in and around a property. Factors which may lead to infestation from Timber Pests (‘Conducive Conditions’) include:
- Edge of concrete slab is concealed – Ensure the edge of your slab is fully exposed
- Weepholes are blocked – Ensure weep holes are fully exposed
- Less than 400mm clearance to underside of floor frame – Try and improve ventilation to these areas
- Earth/wood contact with timbers – Remove all such contact areas by lowering or digging away the soil, use metal stirrups to mount pergolas, etc.
- Damp areas – Remove moisture sources, repair leaking downpipes, taps, etc and grade soil to ensure run-off
- Formwork and scrap timber left in subfloor – Remove all scrap timbers and do not store any timber adjacent to the house, termites love this food!
- Tree Stumps – Remove or have test drilled and checked by a timber pest manager
- Garden Mulch – Try and avoid using timber based mulches on garden beds adjacent to the house
- Tree branches touching the structure – Remove all such occurrences
- Wood Rot – Replace any decayed timbers
You should endeavour to ensure the above conditions DO NOT occur around your property.
We also recommend a full Inspection and Report should be carried out every six months – Regular inspections DO NOT stop attack, but may limit the amount of damage by detecting problems early.
Engage the services of a professional pest control firm to provide a suitable termite management program in accordance with AS3660 to minimise the risk of termite attack. The provision of a complete termite barrier will impede and discourage concealed entry into a building. It cannot prevent an attack as termites can still bridge or breach barriers but they can be detected more readily during routine inspections.
Building maintenance tips for protecting your home
Like just about everything, houses require ongoing maintenance. Too often people think of replacing instead of maintaining. But whether you live in a newly renovated house or otherwise, doing a thorough walk-through every once in a while helps preserve your house and keeps it in working order.
- External paintwork – look at it and make sure it is kept clean. Gravity and water are the enemy, so if you see a crack or chip get it painted immediately.
- Keep your gutters clean. Someone should go on the roof and clear the perimeter drains and gutters and also check the flashing on the roof – the material that covers lower roof sections, chimneys, skylights, etc. By doing this, you’re making sure that water won’t get trapped and cause damage.
- Check for any cracks in windows and for peeling paint. If water gets into a frame, it can rot the jamb. In double-glazed windows, when the paint starts peeling on the outside, water can get in between the glass and the frame and make it fog.
- If you have wires or conduits (pipes) going into the house, such as for telephone or data, it’s better for them to come up through a hole not down to prevent water entering the wall cavity. (If you bring them down from above, make sure the wires have a little dip like a plumbing drain to keep water out.)
- On the exterior of your house, keep everything 15 to 20 cm away from the walls. A lot of people plant right up to the edge of the house, but you need to keep soil and plants away to avoid rot and more importantly keep the foundation soils dry.
- Don’t water your house…..It’s important to check the reach of any sprinklers and make sure that they are not spraying the house. Often sprinklers are on at night, so you might not realise that the house is being watered. You also want to avoid anything that can lead to standing or pooling water.
- To avoid vermin, look around the perimeter of your house and stuff any small space bigger than a gold coin with steel wool or chicken scrunched up wire.
- This is an obvious one: check your smoke detectors. They are there for a reason!
- Clean the filters inside the kitchen rangehood – the grease build-up can lead to a fire. This can be as easy as placing the filters in the dishwasher.
- In old houses, locks and door knobs should be checked. If they start feeling loose or won’t turn properly often all that you need to do is tighten a set screw on the side.
- In newer houses, there are now many more complicated systems to tend to, such as in-floor heating and lighting control systems. If you don’t know how to use these properly or maybe the lighting isn’t set up the way you want it but you don’t know how to change it – call in a professional. Any electrical and plumbing work must be carried out by a licensed electrician or plumber.
- Finally, doing maintenance yourself is fine, but if it’s something you find yourself putting off, hire someone to do it. There are plenty of professionals out there who do this for a living and could use the work. The bottom line: keeping your house in good condition saves you money in the long term.