In 1995 the type of termite systems fitted in a building, mainly with concrete slabs, changed. The new systems involved a change in concrete slab design so that the slab did not crack for the full thickness and restricted termite entry to either around drainage pipes or at slab edges. New systems were installed at slab level and can only be included prior to brickwork. The initial systems included chemical, Termimesh or Granitguard. Later approvals have been given to Kordon and reticulation systems. There are ongoing changes as well as approval for additional products. Each system has different characteristics and requirements and full information on each product and installation is available from the manufacturer or installer. Systems require approval under Australian Standard 3660.1-1995 and amended in 2000. It is also a requirement that a durable sticker be placed in the meter box to identify which system has been installed and when.

It is a requirement of AS3660.1-1995 and each manufacturer that annual pest inspections be undertaken. The manufacturers also require this for the warranties to apply. Our office can be contacted for your annual pest inspection on 02 9418 7750.

Common mistakes. The most common mistake made by builders, concreters, landscapers and homeowners is that the ground level next to the house is raised too high and voids any warranty. The raised level substantially increases the risk of termite entry in concealed areas, particularly if wood chips have been used in landscaping near the house. The wood chips are a material food source for termites and you just invite them to enter your home.

Prior to installing any landscaping, turf, concrete, paving or surface finishes against a house, then the clearance required must be observed to reduce the risk of termite entry. Our pest reports will recommend lowering of external surfaces that do not comply with the systems installed in an existing house.

The next common mistake is to not have annual pest inspections. Most systems installed will not stop termite activity, but make life more difficult for termites. Early detection and additional pest management is required to reduce the structural damage.

The last common mistake is the belief that a termite system will last the life of a building. In many cases it will not and will provide little or no protection against infestation, even if the correct procedures are followed. For example, a chemical handspray around a building complies, but has an expected lifespan of 5 years. After that the chemical has deteriorated to the stage that it is ineffective. These systems are difficult to later provide adequate protection as concrete paths and driveways have been poured and pavers fitted. Also, landscaping is usually a feature and expense. Reticulation systems can be initially or later fitted, but rely on chemicals and require recharging (for a fee) every 3-5 years.

So the type of termite system fitted to a building will have substantial later impact on the building, as well as maintenance costs. It is important to consider the termite system when building or buying a property. Most systems comply with Australian Standard if installed properly and later trades keep the external finishes to the correct levels. Basically, you get what you pay for. The cheap systems to install will later provide little or no protection and will incur considerable cost in installing what will be an attempt to reduce infestation. The more expensive (around $1,500 to install) will not require top up or recharging and will be more economical in the long term.

Remember that whatever system you have, you must have annual pest reinspections to reduce the risk of termite damage to building. Contact our office TODAY on 02 9418 7750.