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Termites and How to Prevent Them

Termites. Ick! Not an insect you want to deal with, especially in your home. Fun fact: they are actually more closely related to cockroaches than ants. Another ick! The main difference is that they are much more destructive.

There are actually hundreds of species of termites in Australia but thankfully, most pose no threat to our homes & other buildings. But the little terrors that can cause trouble, do to more houses each year than fires, floods or storms.

“Build with a steel frame!” You might hear people say, but alas, steel framed houses are not immune to termites. They may be termite resistant, but they are certainly not termite proof. Whilst they can’t eat the main structure of the home, they can damage any timber products within the home such as the backing on plasterboard walls, skirting boards, doors, kitchen cupboards and more. Don’t let termites scare you into using a steel frame though, we will always choose timber regardless but we won’t digress into why, that’s for another day!

Termites never sleep. It’s true! They are always eating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also tend to swarm during Spring. The “swarmers” will emerge from their nest and land to shed their wings to mate and begin new colonies. If you see swarming termites, it is a sure sign that there is an infestation nearby. They generally enter through tiny cracks and crevices in, under and around your home.

So how can you prevent them?

Well, standard building practices in Australia require your home to meet a minimum termite protection warranty but there are also other measures you can take to prevent termites from entering your biggest asset:

  • Get termite inspections done annually by a professional
  • Remove cellulose-based debris from around your house and try to avoid having any wood from your house make any contact with the ground (wooden lattice, window frames or doors that contact the ground)
  • Create a barrier around your house using liquid termiticide treatment or set up a termite bait to poison entire colonies

If you suspect that you may have termites, be sure to call a termite inspector, in the meantime, you can:

  • Look for dead termites, termite wings or termite droppings and examine wood in your house for small holes or sawdust-like matter
  • Check for paint that has bubbled or cracked as this is a sign that termites have created colonies in the walls of your home
  • If you have any non-hollow walls, knock on them to see if they’ve been hollowed by termites
  • The most noticeable sign of termites is a mud tunnel on walls or timbers If you’re renovating or adding to your home, be sure to use a licensed and insured builder who utilises termite protection throughout the construction phase. ZJ Building will always include termite protection in our projects as a non-negotiable.

Whilst termite protection won’t entirely stop the termites, the idea behind it is that if termites do want to enter, they will go around the barrier that is created and by doing so, they can be easily detected. If they have no access through the termite protection barrier, they are more likely to build a mud tunnel which is the most visually recognisable symptom of termites. This means you will notice the invasion immediately and make the appropriate calls to eradicate them.

So, don’t let termites scare you away from using timber in your renovation or addition because you can rest assured knowing that ZJ Building always has your back and will always implement termite protection for your newly established space.

For all of your addition and renovation needs, you can contact ZJ Building on 0403671291 for a free on-site consultation with our Master Builder, Zak.

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