AAG Renovation Tips – Dealing with Termites

Have you Checked for Termites?

We recently started a job in Collaroy Plateau only to discover a termite issue. The client had recently purchased the property and was unaware of any termites until we started phase 1 – Demolition. Fortunately, the damage caused by the termites was minimal and we were able to call in the experts to have the termites eradicated so that the building works were able to resume with minimal downtime. In retrospect, the timing of the building works turned out to be the game changer; if the renovation was left for a few more years, the extent of the damage might have been more severe, and at a more significant cost to the client. In this case we got lucky.

Are you thinking about renovating your home? It might be time for you to get your home inspected for termites, sooner rather than later. Termites are often very difficult to see, and fester behind walls and under floors (yes, the kind of thing to make your skin crawl just at the thought of it). A termite inspection is relatively cheap and may save you thousands in the long term.

If you are in the market for a new property be sure to have a termite inspection carried out as mandatory!

How to detect a possible termite problem.

Wood Damage is the most obvious sign of termites. Termites will create small tracks through the timber to get from A to B. They will also eat away entire sections hollowing them out.

Mud tubes along walls, brickwork or in cracks are a sure sign of termites being present. These mud tubes are created almost like a mini railway system leading the termites from one part of your house to the other.

Check your walls and your floors by applying pressure to them with your hands or feet.
If you find a spongy spot you should investigate further as it may be a spot the termites have been attacking leaving the timber within hollow and damaged.

Check your doors and windows to see they are operating properly. If the windows are a bit sticky this could be a sign of termites tunneling past the window. Use your fingers to feel along the perimeters of the windows and doors to see if they too are spongy.

If you’re not sure, ask your builder!

How to Prevent Termites In the First Place.

A termite problem is not something that anybody wants, and is often something that you can ignore…until you can’t. And by that point, they have already caused significant damage.

  • Be sure to get a termite inspection every 2-3 years as termites only need 2 years to do a considerable amount of damage.
    Ensure your plumbing is sound. You don’t want any leaks. A moisture rich environment is what termites love!
  • Prevent any obvious access point into your home such as cracks in the concrete or brick walls.
  • Ensure the subfloor of your home is kept dry and debris free. When I say debris free I am talking about loose wood on the ground. Don’t make it easy for the termites by leaving wood on the ground underneath your floors. You may want to consider more ventilation to your subfloor. This is a relatively inexpensive exercise and there are many ways to achieve a well ventilated subfloor. This is something that you should talk to your builder about.
  • Make sure you keep the perimeter of your home well maintained. Don’t let the ground level build up along your perimeter. This will help you spot any evidence of termites trying to track their way inside.

Remember, when it comes to termites (and life in general really) : prevention is always easier (and cheaper) than treatment.