The Importance of Regular Termite Inspections
Buildings constructed prior to 2001 were commonly protected by chemical treatment applied prior to construction. The residual life of these
chemicals would now be exhausted.
Since 2001 the Building Code of Australia has required residential buildings be constructed to discourage concealed entry of termites. Many of
these methods, such as exposed slab, simply force termites to enter the building at the perimeter. Although these termite management systems have a design life of 50 years, they are not designed to stop termites entering buildings and structures. Some post-construction additions (eg water tanks, paving and pathways) and landscaping (turf and garden beds against the house – especially if mulched with bark) and even storing things beside the wall of the house (especially stacked timber) may compromise any termite management system.
Australian Standard 3660.1 – 2000 Termite Management
Part 1: New building work states
“The Standard includes methods to deter concealed entry from the soil to the building above the termite barrier system. A termite barrier constructed in accordance with this Standard cannot prevent termite attack, as barriers may be bridged or breached. Where termites bridge barriers the evidence may be detected during inspections.”
Australian Standard 3660.2 – 2000 Termite Management
Part 2: In and around existing buildings and structures – Guidelines states
“3.2.4 Frequency of inspections – Regular, competent inspections should be carried out at least on an annual basis but more frequent inspections are strongly recommended.”
Queensland Building Services Authority -TERMITE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ADVISORY NOTES FOR BUILDERS AND HOMEOWNERS 2010
“Termite infestations cause millions of dollars in damage each year to timber in homes across Australia. Termites (white ants) are a problem in most parts of Australia, but they are particularly active in hot, wet areas such as Coastal Queensland. It is important for the owner to understand that properly installed and maintained termite management systems impede and discourage concealed termite entry into buildings. They do not always prevent unconcealed entry and therefore do not prevent termite attack.
Regardless of the system used, regular inspections should be carried out by a BSA-licensed contractor with the appropriate Termite Management licence to ensure termites have not bridged the barrier. It is recommended that inspections be at least every 12 months, or more often in high risk areas. Most infestations occur at the perimeter of the building and usually result from owners being unfamiliar with “good practice”. For example, an existing termite management system can be bridged by building garden beds or placing wood chips up to the house, or by attaching unprotected structures such as carports, pergolas and fences to the house.”
It is important to have your building inspected regularly by a licensed Pest Management Technician.