When is termite protection needed?
In this post we will discuss the different situations that gives rise to the need for termite treatments. We will be primarily focussing on modifications to buildings and the relevant actions such as additions of patios or decks, bathroom or kitchen renovations, adding paths, and major renovations.
The need for termite treatment is dependant on 2 factors; does the new structure require protection, and does the modification compromise existing structures.
The need for termite protection when a deck is being added is often needed to protect the deck from termites, and ensuring the existing house is not compromised by a deck. To ensure the house is safe from the deck being attached is quite simple. All that is needed in most cases is the creation of an inspection zone. This is achieved by using steel posts, or stirrups, so that termites have to expose themselves if they try to get in. Care should also be taken to ensure no timber is touching both the ground and the building, as this will compromise the existing structure. To protect the deck from the house, termite protection should be installed so that termites trying to get in have to contact the termite protection first. An example of this would be the addition of a band of homeguard being added to the wall exterior, upon which the pole plate is attached.
Bathrooms and kitchens
A termite treatment is often needed when renovating bathrooms and kitchens where pipe locations are altered. This is because when a hole is cut into a concrete floor, termites can enter around the new pipes, and the joints in the concrete between the existing slab and the new section. Treatment is quite simple, whereby the hole in the floor is filled with a 50mm layer of Homeguard GT Beads; a plastic bead product which has been impregnated with a chemical ingredient. The new pipes are then treated with plastic collars, which are also impregnated with chemical.
Paths and Concrete Patio Areas
Termite treatment should take place in most cases where concrete paths, patios and other concrete additions are made.
The available termite treatment options are physical, being Homeguard blanket, or reticulation systems. If concrete is to be added, termite protection must be installed, if termites can gain concealed access to the structure, or the inspection zone is compromised. Chemical impregnated blanket is often the best choice, particularly where the new slab abuts the existing footing. The blanket is then affixed to the existing footing, which prevents termites from entering through the resulting cold joint. Chemical reticulation systems can also be used, whereby a perforated pipe is placed along the joint a few inches below the ground, through which a chemical is pumped in underneath the new slab. This method is ideal if the new slab adjoins a wall instead of a footing, as the chemical will be applied to the area of soil that termites have to go through to get into the building. These treatments SHOULD be done in the vast majority of path/patio additions, and MUST be done where the new slab height is less than 75mm (1 brick course) below the weep holes, or where termite entry can be concealed.
There are many different scenarios where termite treatment is needed in major renovations including under framing, plumbing penetrations, post wraps, backfilled walls, and many more. It can be very confusing (even for the author), so feel free to give us a call in the early stages of planning to allow for all possibilities.