WHAT ARE TERMITE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Termite Management Systems involve specialised chemical or physical products designed to prevent termites from accessing buildings from underneath or via concealed routes. Their aim is to force termites out into the open where they can be seen and pathways more easily identified.
A termite management system will often incorporate a combination of chemical and physical features. They are often referred to as ‘pre-construction’ treatment zones because they are applied at early and progressive stages of any new building project or renovation.
CHEMICAL TERMITE MANAGEMENT PRODUCTS
Chemical termite management products are most frequently used with concrete ‘slab-on-ground’ construction. The chemical is applied to the ground, under the entire slab and around the perimeter of the building. The life of the chemical treatment zone depends on which chemical is used, as well as the type of soil and the environmental conditions such as water and drainage. These factors then influence how regularly the site must be retreated to maintain the chemical boundary.
PHYSICAL TERMITE MANAGEMENT PRODUCTS
Physical termite management products ‘physically’ separate your home from the ground. The type of physical barrier used depends on the particulars of each site and often includes a combination of materials. For example, a typical physical product is an ‘ant cap’ or ‘termite shield’. Termite shields are placed on top of all piers or stumps and built into brick walls at the level of the underside of the floor frame to form a continuous barrier.
Installation of a termite management system together with the use of termite-resistant building materials, risk-averse construction methods and landscaping considerations all contribute to ‘whole of house’ termite protection as required by the Building Code of Australia.
MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE DO’S & DON’TS
Owners and occupants should be aware that renovations or additions such as carports, pergolas, decks, access ramps and steps to your home may allow termites to bridge an existing termite treatment zone. Installing something like a new hot-water system or air-conditioning unit on the outside of your home can also compromise a treatment zone or make it difficult to detect termite activity. Likewise, take care when selecting trees to plant. If you plant the wrong tree too close to your home, its roots may damage the termite treatment zone under or beside the concrete slab or cause the slab itself to crack.
ANNUAL INSPECTIONS ARE A MUST
Each termite management system has advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost and environmental impact. No system is perfect. Termites can and do bridge their way around a treatment zone, so it is extremely important your home is regularly inspected by a licensed, professional pest controller for any evidence of termite activity.
Some systems require regular professional inspections to maintain validity of their warranties so make sure you are informed of any stipulations. Regardless of the system of protection installed, regular professional inspections are the responsibility of the property-owner.