An extensive Australian Standard (AS 3660.2) deals with protecting homes from termite attack. This standard provides minimum guidelines for home owners and Timber pest managers 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. In the past, persistent pesticides were sprayed underneath slab on ground homes. These have been withdrawn from use, due to community concerns, and replaced with acceptable alternatives. Applied correctly these alternative termiticides will help protect your home from future attack. There are also termite baiting systems used now.
Termites may still gain entry though, if you don’t take basic steps to help maintain the defences to your home.
How you can help ensure your home remains safe
REGULAR TERMITE INSPECTIONS ARE ESSENTIAL
- Always follow the guidelines and recommendations issued by a Timber Pest Specialist. They are designed to ensure maximum protection.
- A termite Treated Zone abutting the perimeter walls of your home may be essential to reduce the risk to your home. You must avoid disturbing this Treated Zone. If it is disturbed then entry by subterranean termites is possible. If you have not had this Treated Zone applied yet then your home remains fully exposed to future destruction by termites.
- Any termite management program can be rendered ineffective if building alterations or additions are made. The construction of pergolas, awnings, verandas, etc can provide a route for concealed entry into the property.
- With many concrete slab homes it is important that you ensure the edge of the slab is left exposed. Weep holes in between the bricks, found immediately above the slab, must also be left exposed. By building up gardens or soil levels over the edge of the slab or over the weep holes you may allow termites to can gain undetected entry into your home and bridge Treated Zones.
- 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 removed from the subfloor and away from the external walls of your home.
- Ensure that termite (ant caps) shielding are 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.
- Ensure leaking taps, showers, pipes, etc under the home or adjacent to it are repaired immediately in order to reduce moisture levels in the sub floor.
- Ensure that vents to sub-floor areas are never blocked. These keep the subfloor dry so termites are not attracted to the area.
- Do not use untreated timbers to form garden beds or retaining walls as these will attract termites. Untreated timber retaining walls should be replaced.