Termite Barrier Protection For your Home
Do you need a Termite Barrier?
The amount of termite damage to Australian properties each year is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
So my advice to you is to be proactive when it comes to termites and get regular termite inspections and make sure you have an up to date Termite Barrier System installed. The correct term is now a Termite Management System and there is a few different types of termite protection barriers . These systems greatly reduce the risk of damage from these foraging timber destroying pests. With several different systems available how do you know which will suit and protect your home ? Here i will explain to you the different types of termite barrier protection systems.
Every day I talk about Conducive Conditions to home owners and new home purchasers and what attracts termites to our homes. Your house will fit somewhere on a termite risk factor scale. There are 5 levels – Low to Medium – Medium – Medium to High and High and extremely high risk . Unfortunately where we live almost all homes in South east Queensland are in the high risk categories It all comes down to the house construction type, environmental factors and what conducive conditions you have in and around your home. You can start protecting your home by just eliminating some of these things I have listed below.
So what are Conductive Termite Conditions ?
The two most important factors that termites need to survive are food sources and moisture. In our wisdom we have taken away a lot of the termites food sources and we have built our homes and buildings where they used to feed. So where do they find enough food to feed their ever growing Colonies?Yes you guessed it our homes. Here are some of these conditions we commonly find in and around homes or buildings .
Termite Barrier Protection
- Old Tree Stumps left in the ground
- Landscaping Timber retaining walls and Fences
- Gardens, foliage and mulch adjacent to the house
- Air Conditioning and Hot Water System overflows draining straight onto the ground adjacent to the building
- Poor or no ventilation and drainage in the Sub Floor (damp conditions)
- leaking plumbing
- Timber debris and Stored timber in the Sub Floor
- Poor Drainage, broken Down pipes and leaking gutters
- Timber structures in contact with the ground and house (Decking,Pergolas etc)
Almost every house I inspect will have some or all these areas of concern, so much so that most are overlooked as termite problems. Almost all are very simple things to rectify but are super important when it comes to keeping these destructive pests away. When Termites reproduce they leave the nest as Reproductive Alates (Flying Termites or swarmers) they are looking for these perfect conditions to start new colonies. So if you remove these conducive conditions them it will greatly reduce your Termite Risk Factor.
My House is Built on a Concrete Slab, do I need a Termite Barrier installed?
Are homes built on a concrete slabs safer from attack from termites? The answer is definitely no. Most attacks occur on concrete slab homes. Even a concrete slab built to the building code will move and sometimes crack. Ground movement is normal and can leave gaps between the ground and the concrete slab. So termites only need as little as a 2mm crack in the concrete slab or have one of the plumbing penetrations through the concrete slab not fitted correctly and that’s the all they need to get into your home. But in most cases the slab will not crack which will just drive the termites to the outer edges of your home. From there they will explore for new ways to get in, which is normally up over the slab edge inspection zone and in through the weep holes. the inspection zone is generally from the weep hole to the ground which must be 75mm around the whole house. It is very important you keep this area clear to see termites trying to access your home. So do not put gardens, Water Tanks etc over this area as it will obstruct the inspection zone and allow undetected termite entry.
My House is on piers or stumps, do I need a Termite Barrier?
Houses built on Piers or stumps are also susceptible to termites. It is the same as concrete slab homes the inspection zone must be kept clear so you will see the termites trying to access your home. They do have one advantage and that is visibility. Having a dry and well ventilated Sub Floor with unobstructed access and regular inspections will greatly increase the chance of finding the early warning signs of termites, and that is seeing their mud leads going up the piers and over the ant capping. Termites build these mud leads to travel through and protect them from predators, keeping their environment warm, dark and moist. The leads will be seen on the piers where the termites are trying to make way into the house.
What Types of Termite Barriers are there?
Chemical Termite Barriers
A Chemical Termite Barrier is a chemical treatment to the soil around the perimeter of your home. A trench is dug down to just below the top of the footings and the soil is treated with a termiticide chemical (We Only use Termidor Australia’s Number one Chemical Treatment). This is the main type of Termite Barrier as home owners feel they are better protected as the chemical barrier completely surrounds the perimeter of the House. When we start trenching and the soil is not good quality then we replace with soil that is better suited for it to be saturated by the termiticde chemical. If there is paving around some parts of the property then we will lift them trench and treat then put them back as best we can. Some people opt to get them re laid by a professional. If that is not possible because they are concreted in we can simply drill and inject into the corners of the paver which is a great alternative. Where there is concrete it is a matter of drilling holes up to 200mm apart and injecting the chemical. Because we must only come out 150mm off the wall Some services like hot water, air conditioning systems and water tanks may need to be temporarily removed and then replaced back. If this is not done it becomes a limitation to the treatment. We will advise you of this when we come out for the quote.
Chemical Termite Reticulation System
A Chemical Termite Reticulation System is the same as a Chemical Termite Barrier except that you can “recharge” the system again before the end of chemical life span. This system is great for homes which are classed in higher risk category and you are able to renew the chemical more regularly for better protection against termites this will also save you money as all we have to do is connect up and pump in the chemical saving all the labour over again.
The hose is dug and placed in at the same depth as normal trenching and laid around just below the top of the footings of your home. The hose acts similar to a garden soaker hose, there are connector junction boxes around the house where we connect up and chemical is injected. Even though it is a larger investment initially it will save you money overtime with the recharge points it will be easy to renew and be a lot less disruptive. So that is one of the biggest advantages being no more disturbance once the initial installation has been done.
Termite Baiting and Monitoring Systems System
A termite baiting and monitoring system is one of the most least invasive forms of termite Barrier protection available. It is a series of Plastic stations that are placed around the perimeter of the house at usually 3 meters apart. Most types of these systems have sleeves of timber which Termites like to eat and get Being monitored every 4 to 6 weekly intervals, once termites are found we then add a bait to the station which is made up of cellulose and the active ingredient. The termites then consume the bait and is then feed back to the Termite colony. The Worker Termites feed and groom all the other termites so the active ingredient will to go deep into colony. The ingredient is an insect growth regulator which stops the production of Chitin the main component of the termites outer shell (exoskeleton) so once they consume the bait and shed they cannot grow it back which in turn eliminates the whole colony.
The initial installation cost for a termite baiting system is generally less than a chemical termite barrier because there is a lot less labour involved but could be more depending on how many concrete core holes needed. The first year includes the charges for the monitoring and any baits needed. The next year there are ongoing charges which are generally between $700 and $1200 depending on the size of the system installed, which includes the yearly termite Inspection but doesn’t allow for the baits as they will be extra.
Some People after the 2nd year go for self monitoring of the system ( Not Recommended As there will be no warranty offered). This does void the warranty but will significantly reduce the ongoing costs. The Termite Technician can be called out once active termites are found in a bait station or if they need to be maintained. There are DIY systems out there but we don’t recommend them if you don’t know what you are doing.
With the renewal the stations must be cleaned out and all timbers replaced and granules added with some systems. With the Sentricon the bait only needs to be replace if more than 50% consumed.
Physical Termite Barriers
The physical systems are the main type system for new buildings and renovations and all new homes must have termite protection fitted as it is the LAW.
Before the slab is poured all the pipes or penetrations that come through the concrete need to be protected and we use pipe collars. With the old style chemical underslab hand sprays they had a chemical life expectancy which was usually around 12 years. So once the chemical expired your home was no longer protected from termites underneath and a lot of homes got termite attacks through this area and usually where there is most moisture… The bathrooms. The fitting of collars has been the best thing since when it comes to termite protection as long as you have no major issues or cracking of the slab..
The Physical Perimeter Protection.
Once the concrete has been poured and set , the perimeter is then protected with a physical blanket in this case slab on ground construction. The brick work is then placed on top of the physical system which stops termites from entering from underneath the slab. What you need to know is this DOES NOT STOP TERMITES from entering from the outside parts of the house , the system is designed to make termites breach over the system making them exposed before entering the house and this is where the slab edge and inspection zone plays one of the most important parts in protecting your home. The inspection zone is 75mm around the whole building from the top of the system to the ground or The termite inspection zone or exposed slab edge.
Online Pest Control will advise you on your options when it comes to Termite Barrier Protection. In some cases You may not need a barrier system as it may be up to date and you only need to get an annual Termite Inspection.
Online Pest Control offer a free onsite quotes for termite Barrier systems, and we will come out to your home to give an accurate assessment and answer questions you may have. Our Termite Barrier specialists will go through with you about your termite conditions around your home and what you can do to reduce it. Give our Termite Barrier system Team a call on +61 0732008586. To organise your Free Quote.