How could termites affect my new home?
Termite protection is a genuine concern for homeowners and home builders alike. Preventing termite entrance to your home is key to maintaining the integrity of your home’s structure, and at Hensley Park Homes we take termite protection seriously.
Termites are small, social insects that live in colonies in dead wood or soil. They look similar to the regular black garden ant but can be easily recognized by their white and brown bodies. Termite colonies are generally comprised of thousands of individual insects, and nests are built often built inside dead wood such as fallen trees, fence posts and unfortunately, timber house frames.
Cellulose, an insoluble substance that is found in the cell walls of plants (including wood), is an essential part of the termite’s diet. Interestingly, termites are one of the few living creatures that can digest cellulose, and to them it’s a necessary nutrient! When they bore into wood, they’re actually eating it, and eventually creating a tunnel system that leaves the wood structurally unsafe. The colony lives entirely inside this tunnel system.
Do Termites Live in My Area?
Termites species are found right across Australia; however, they are not an issue in every area. Your local council will be aware of termite ‘hot spots’ in your area and can offer advice about specific problem zones.
How Can I Protect My Home Against Termites?
Termite protection is all about applying strategies of resistance. In one sense, we have to say that no wood is 100% ‘termite-proof’ – only substances such as metal, plastic, rock etc. which do not contain cellulose are totally free from termite danger. However, there are ways and means to protect your new home against these little crawlies and minimize the chance of trouble.
There are two main types of termite resistance:
1. Physical barrier: a steel shield known as an ant cap is fitted onto the foundation supports, preventing ants from penetrating the home via the foundations. The theory behind an ant barrier is quite simple: the termites go looking for their food and come across the barrier and this deters them from going any further. There are other forms of physical barriers such as plastic strips, which also act as very effective defense methods.
2. Poison Resistance: at the time that the timber for your home is manufactured/prepared, it is soaked in a poison which deters termites. The poison-soaked wood doesn’t necessarily kill the termites, but they don’t like it, so it acts as an effective deterrent. Pest control services can be employed to spray poison on and around the outside of your home and garden areas, which also provides another level of security against these insects.
Hensley Park Homes Termite Protection Plan
At Hensley Park Homes, we do all we can to protect your new home from termite invasion. We install ant caps on all stumps and use a steel sub-floor structure to prevent them entering your new home via the foundations. All internal walls are made from T2 (termite treated wood).
We take a proactive approach: for every new job we contact the local council for the area and seek advice on local termite activity and known hot spots. Approximately half of our clients build in termite-prone areas, so if your area is a trouble zone, this will be noted in your contract. After handover, it is the customer’s responsibility to get an initial termite treatment done on the home, then continue with a regular termite maintenance schedule in accordance with the recommendation of the pest control company.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as building a home that’s 100% termite proof. It’s simply a case of taking all possible resistance methods during construction, maintaining a regular pest control maintenance program and being vigilant. Beware of fallen branches and do not leave objects leaning against your home: for example, a fallen branch leaning against your home effectively creates a bridge for termites which bypasses both the poison on the ground and the ant caps on the foundations!
If you would like more information on our termite protection plan, please contact the team at Hensley Park Homes on 1800 01 05 09.