When you’re building a new home, you get an opportunity to termite protect your home using physical termite protection methods that typically carry 50 year design lives, which is not always an available option with an existing home.
When building a new home, we’re huge fans of termite resistant framing to limit the consequences of termite attack. Termite resistant framing can be hardwood, cypress pine, treated pine or steel. Hardwood is comparatively difficult to work with in comparison to pine. It’s heavy, has splinters, needs a sharp saw to cut it, and needs a better quality nail gun to work with it. Cypress pine twists and splits, especially if it’s dry. It’s generally regarded as termite resistant, but it can be termite attacked if it’s moisture affected. Steel framing is largely unaffected by termites, but has a much heavier carbon footprint than timber.
The most popular termite resistant framing in South East Queensland today is treated pine, with the most common being T2 treated pine. For more information on T2 treated pine, visit the Hyne & Son web site at www.hyne.com.au. They have one of the best (and honest) timber technical departments in the country.
We’d also recommend the more difficult timbers to be replaced if termite affected (door jambs, window and door reveals etc) be constructed using termite resistant or treated materials. For the easier to replace trim timbers (architraves and skirtings), we prefer that untreated finger jointed pine be used. That way, the home can’t be readily structurally affected by termites, and if for any reason termites were to occur, they’ll be found in trim timbers that are relatively easy to replace. It’s like leaving a sacrificial anode for termites!
You’ll find that at Environpest, we’ll steer you towards physical termite barriers, or chemical sheet products with a 50 year design life wherever possible, that have no ongoing planned maintenance requirements, other than annual timber pest inspection. To us, the key to termite protection is identifying the best termite protection method depending on the construction, with the lowest overall cost of ownership.
Brick veneer homes are a common construction today, and are a good example of what termite protection strategies can be employed. The concrete slab (when laid in accordance with Australian Standard 2870) can be used as part of the termite protection. Slab construction joints and slab penetrations need to be termite protected, and if the exposed slab edge isn’t used, and bricks continue to the soil, then perimeter termite protection is required.
Since a 2006 Queensland only Building Code amendment in the termite issue, termite protection products installed to new homes in Queensland need to have a 50 year design life. Where a chemical termite barrier is used, it must have a method of replenishment with a 50 year design life, that doesn’t require slabs to be drilled.
At Environpest, in new homes, we’re huge fans of physical or chemical sheet termite protection products with 50 year design lives, that other than annual timber pest inspection, have no planned physical maintenance requirements. With physical or chemical sheet termite protection products, it’s recommended the home owner check the exterior perimeter of the home for termite mud tunnels, preferably on a monthly basis. The physical or chemical sheet termite protection products provide the home owner with the lowest overall cost of ownership. If a chemical termite barrier is used, even with a reticulation system to allow easy replenishment, the termite protection system will require replenishment (at additional ongoing cost). Another trap with reticulation systems is that the installers seem to recommend replenishment at much greater frequency than the termiticide manufacturer’s labelled expected protection period.
Physical termite barriers include Termimesh (a woven stainless steel mesh). It’s a very good termite protection product, with excellent product stewardship.
Chemical sheet products with 50 year design lives include FMC Homeguard. To our view, FMC Homeguard is one of the better chemical sheet products with a 50 year design life, as the chemical impregnation is carried right through the product. Other chemical sheet products, such as Kordon, have the chemical carried in a matrix between 2 clean plastic sheets.
Based upon design and construction, we can always develop an appropriate termite protection strategy that represents the best long term value for money to our clients.
Environpest are not the cheapest timber pest inspection company you’ll find, (and we’re not the most expensive) but as you might have gathered browsing our web site, given what we provide in our inspections and advice, you’ll find we’re incredibly good value. The value of the honest advice you get here will be remembered long after you’ve forgotten the price!
If we can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to call Leeanne at Environpest on (07) 3219 2777, or e-mail Environpest at email@example.com.