10 Tips to Keep Termites Out of Your House

10 Tips to Keep Termites Out of Your House




1. Don’t have gardens against your house.

This is an error of monumental dimensions. Worst case scenario is that the dirt in the garden bed is built up above the weep-holes; giving the termites a straight shot by the brick course, and into the timber inside. Termites are also attracted to moisture and mulch which is often present. already the vegetation (particularly vines) can provide a hid runway for termites to get in; worse nevertheless if your walls are weatherboard.

2. Make sure there are no water leaks.

As I mentioned above, termites are attracted to water. Humidity is basic to keep their workings liveable, as they only have a soft cuticle (think shell) and can dry out rapidly. Termites will seek out any water source to keep alive, and if there is a leak inside your house (shower recess, tap, drain pipe etc.) it will carry tannins from the timber into the soil. You may in addition put up a “food this way” sign.

3. Drainage and ventilation.

This refers to any moisture accumulating under, or against the exterior of your house. Simple things such as a hot water system overflow, or air-conditioner pipe drained against the wall exterior is enough of an attractant to draw termites into your house. Water flowing or ponding around or under your house when it rains is also an issue. It could be as easy as installing an ag-pipe drain, or my require earthworks to fix. Poor ventilation, particularly in sub-floor areas, raises the humidity; which termites love. If it smells musty, chances are you will need to get more air moving by the area.

4. Beware of stored goods; especially timber.

Having things sitting up against, or leaning on, the wall exterior can rule to disaster. At best it will conceal the view of the wall so you can’t see a termite rule going in to the house. At worst, it will provide a “bridge” or “runway” for termites to use to gain entry. Timber is especially bad, as it also attracts the termites, before providing access to the house. already if it isn’t right next to the house, it should be stacked up on some bricks (or other termite resistant material) so it doesn’t provide the entree for the termites.

5. Be careful making additions.

Too often we see a DIY renovation where untreated timber has been placed straight into the ground, and attached to the main structure. The main culprits are patio’s that have been built in, or high set houses that have been built under. The best bet is to get a good builder (see below) to do it, or failing that, get a qualified timber pest technician to check over what you want to do beforehand. Most operators will be more than happy to advise or quote on termite protection free of charge. If you insist on going it alone, remember, NEVER place timber in/on the ground that comes in contact with your house. already unprotected timber sitting on brick or concrete can let termites straight in.

6. Check your yard regularly.

If you have a quick poke around any trees, stumps or timber, and you know what a termite looks like, you may get an early warning. A good tool for poking and prodding to use is a large screwdriver. If you do find anything, the best bet is to call a termite specialist. The risk you run by treating them yourself is that you may be able to kill the termites in that particular area, although anything obtainable to the public will doubtful move back to the main colony. You may end up scaring them out of their current food source, and into your house.

7. Keep an eye on the timber in your house.

Any imperfections in the timber parts of your house can be a sign of termites. Usually termite damage will appear as ripples or bubbles on the surface. When you poke it, your finger will go straight by! Be mindful of these descriptors, and you can catch them early. If you do find them, and have damaged the piece of timber they are in, put some masking or duct tape over the hole, and call a termite inspector straight away. Again, I’m being commercial, but there is no real way to get them out, and keep them out on your own that I’m aware of. At the time of writing, all the DIY solutions I have seen are hit and miss at best, and charlatanry at worst.

8. Get the best builder you can provide.

Termite protection comes standard with any new home at the time of writing. This can either be a physical obstacle, a chemical obstacle or both. These products can work fantastically, as long as they are installed properly. We have seen these products breached though; generally in corners of the home or in the garage. Some builders just want the piece of paper saying the work has been done. You can insist on a termite company you know has a high standard of work to do your termite protection, which can alleviate any dramas. already if your new home has a steel frame, termites can and do nevertheless damage large amounts of timber inside.

9. Get regular inspections.

Here’s the commercial part you’ve been patiently waiting for! Seriously though, having termite inspections on at the minimum an annual basis will negate a whole lot of stress. We look for all the factors conducive to termite attack above, plus more, in addition as checking for termites themselves. We have expensive high tech equipment such as thermal camera’s, and radar detection equipment, and a whole lot of real world experience. already if you have termite protection installed, it nevertheless pays to have an inspection every year, to make sure something hasn’t compromised it, and the warranty of said protection is often conditional upon it.

10. Have termite protection installed.

Again, it’s commercial, but it’s an basic part in keeping termites out. If you have a home built before 2002 in Queensland, chances are that you won’t have any termite protection installed during construction. Having a chemical obstacle installed in the soil, and under the concrete (paths, patios etc) goes a long way towards killing any termites that try to go into your house. An average home costs around $2000 to protect using a good, non-repellant product, at the time of writing. This will vary, but if its much more than that, get more quotes. Think of it this way: how much carpentry and plastering would $2000 buy you if termites did get in?

Conclusion

Well there’s most of the basics. I know you will all go out and do exactly as I have prescribed now, won’t you? I guess you have to ask; “How important is it that my roof doesn’t cave in?”. Believe you me, it wouldn’t be the first time termites have caused a roof to cave in either! Seriously though, these are just suggestions to keep your home and family safe. Much like how when you go skydiving; they suggest you pull the ripcord. I hope they have given you food for thought, and an idea of how to look for the warning signs.




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