Many of the houses assessed by our independent pest inspectors are found to have termites in residence or evidence of previous termite occupation. Clearly this is a problem, requiring the outlay of several thousand dollars – and sometimes much more – to manage the termites and repair the building.
Dealing with termites is one thing, but preventing them from entering your home is quite another.
There is a range of chemical termiticides and physical barriers that can be incorporated in or around new or established homes to reduce the chances of termite attack. There is also an increasing availability of termite-resistant building materials that can be specified for use in construction. These range from chemically treated materials to naturally resistant materials and new composite substrates. While most are related to the structural components of the house, there is also a range of external cladding and internal materials that can be effective.
Structural alternatives include the use of steel frames and naturally resistant timbers, whilst external products such as brick and stone have been used for centuries. There are also many engineered wood products with proprietary additives that present options for both external and interior use.
In many areas of the country new homes are required to have termite-resistance measures in place so it’s important to be aware of the alternatives that are available. It’s important to make sure that your builder is aware of them too … and how to handle and install them properly so as not to void the product warranties.
If you’re unsure, get some advice from an independent professional.