Termites cause such damage in Queensland homes that if you’re building a home extension, then it must comply with the Australian Standards 3660.1 for termite management. If you’re spending thousands of dollars on extending your home, then the last thing you want is to spend thousands more to rectify the damage caused by termites.
Many insurance companies won’t insure for termites. But with an estimated 1 in 5 homes suffering termite damage, those odds are enough to warrant incorporating a physical t into your build without hesitation. Is this enough to ward off the dreaded white ant, though?
People think that if they have a termite treatment management system in their main home, they’ll never have a problem with termites attacking their property. This is not the case. Termites can still attack your home, but they won’t be able to gain concealed access. An effective termite treatment management system forces termite activity into the open, where it is more easily detected by a termite inspector.
Extending your termite treatment management system
The same goes for an extension. It is part of your home, so it also needs to have a physical treatment zone incorporated, so you have whole house protection. Well-ventilated subflooring provides crawl access for a termite inspector. Stainless steel mesh or sheet caps over the subfloor will restrict termite access to the extension’s flooring.
A chemical treatment management system can also be applied around footings or slab edges. Inside, non-structural wooden elements such as skirting boards, window frames and doors should be constructed from termite-resistant wood or steel.
Creating termite crossings
What many people don’t realise is that later additions to the extension, such as porches, pergolas, carports, steps and access ramps can allow termites to enter the home across an existing termite treatment zones. The results can be devastating, especially if you think you’re safe from termites. Something as simple as installing a new water heater on the outside of your home and not covering gaps with steel mesh could provide access for termites.
The bottom line
The number one rule when building an extension is to always consider the various options around termite protection. Be sure to make it easy for yearly inspections to be carried out.