Termites

Termites in Queensland

Termites are small, wood eating pests that cause thousands of dollars in damage to homes across Queensland ever year.

While most areas of coastal Australia are at high risk of termite attacks, Queensland is a hotbed for these pests.

This is because the natural conditions of Queensland, such as humidity, alternating periods of dry weather and stormy downpours, as well as the high number of trees. Queenslander style homes are especially at risk, given the amount of wood used in their construction.

There are 10 native species of termites in Queensland and many more that have been introduced over time. Queensland is home to the largest and most aggressive species of termite, the mastotermes darwiniensis.

How to recognise termites

There are several tell-tale signs that your house has been stricken by a termite infestation.

  • Easily damaged wood: The most obvious sign of termites can be when your foot goes through the wooden staircase.
  • Trails of mud going up or around walls: Termites create pencil-sized tunnels out of soil and mud to protect themselves from predators and the environment.
  • Piles of sawdust-type pellets around wood: This is not actual sawdust, but frass which is termite excrement.
  • Discarded wings: Winged termites will fly around and look for places to start a colony, after which they discard their wings. Seeing these wings around your home is a sign of termite infestation
  • Hollow sounding wood: Termites generally eat wood from the inside out. When you knock on wood and it sounds hollow, this is a sign of termite damage.
  • Doors, walls and windows change shape: If your doors become sagged or windows become harder to open or paintwork is cracked, this is a sign that termite damage has warped your doors and windows.

If you see signs of termites, then damage has no doubt already been done. As such, it is always better to try and avoid a termite infestation before it happens.

A prime example of termite mudding traveling up a wall. This is a sign that termites are near.

How to reduce risk of termites

There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of a termite attack around your home.

  • Reduce risk of moisture: Termites are attracted to moisture. If wood is damp, they will have an easier time eating it. As such, you should fix poor drainage, keep gutters clear, and leaky pipes and improve ventilation in areas where it is poor.
  • Remove dead tree stumps: Decaying wood is attractive to termites. If you have a dead tree stump in your yard, remove it quickly.
  • Reduce wood-to-ground contact: Remove wood, mulch, paper and cardboard away from the foundation of your home. If you’re creating a garden, place it away from your dwelling.
  • Point sprinklers away from your foundation: Reduces moisture in at risk area.
  • Get annual inspections: Through regular inspections from a licensed inspector, you will get expert check-ups to ensure your home is termite free

Another effective deterrent for termites is the Termite Management System.

Moisture has ruined this back deck and has made it more susceptible to damage.

Termite Management Systems

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires that all new homes must have termite management systems in place.

A termite management system comes in many different forms.

  • Physical barrier: A physical barrier generally takes the form of a concrete slab. This prevents termites from getting a concealed entry into your home – to get in, they must make themselves visible.
  • Chemical barrier: A chemical barrier is created through a moat-type ditch that is dug around a property, filled with chemicals and then covered over. These chemicals can do a variety of things, either deterring termites or slowly killing them and poisoning the nest over time
  • Stainless steel mesh: A steel mesh is placed under the slab and around the perimeter of the property.
  • Graded stone: A layer of graded stone is placed below the foundation and around the perimeter of the property
  • Termite resistant materials: Using materials such as treated timber, steel, concrete, reinforced cement and masonry in construction can protect from termites, as these are termite resistant.

Termite Management Systems are your best bet to protect your home, however it is important to have a durable notice.

What is a durable notice for my termite management system?

A durable notice is a record of the termite management system that is permanently and prominently displayed in the home.

The durable notice indicates the following:

  • The termite management system which is used
  • The date of installation of the system
  • What chemical was used and where, life expectancy of the chemical
  • The installer/manufacturers recommendations regarding future inspections

An example of a durable notice.

Who should install the termite management system?

Not just anyone can install termite management systems – it requires a qualified pest technician.

The average cost of termite treatment in Queensland is around $2000 – $4000.

When researching which expert to choose from, you should take the following steps:

  • Research: Investigate different companies, the services they offer and check the reviews of their services and see if they have an FAQ page.
  • Contact them: Once you have a list of options, call the business and ask questions such as how long they’ve been around and what training they have. You can also ask details about the inspection itself and what products are used.
  • Compare them: Once you are satisfied that you have conducted enough research, compare your options and choose the one you are most comfortable with.

Through these steps, you can hire someone qualified to both install your termite management system and conduct inspections.

Termite Inspections

As stated above, regular termite inspections are a necessary step to prevent and reduce the risk of a termite infestation.

An inspection can cost you as little as $250 depending on the size of the property.

Generally, it is recommended you get a pest inspection once annually, but if you live in a high-risk area you might be advised to get an inspection more often.

Inspectors will check the following aspects of the home:

  • All accessible rooms inside the home
  • All accessible spaces under the home
  • Timber around, in and under the home
  • The garden
  • Fences
  • Trees and tree stumps
  • Any structure within 30m of the property
  • If any termite damage was found
  • The existence of a previous termite management plan

You will receive recommendations on further investigations and repairs that may need to be done. A report will be given to you detailing the findings of the inspection.

5 ways to prepare for a building and pest inspection

A building and pest inspection is a very important procedure for anyone buying, selling or renovating a home. As suck, you should know how to prepare for a building and pest inspection.

In our blog, we will go through the most important steps you can take so you can make the most out of your inspection.

1)     Research different companies and services

One of the first things to do as you prepare for a building and pest inspection is to research.

You should investigate the different building and pest inspection companies, see the reviews and services they offer, along with price.

That way, you can be sure to get the best value for money.

The internet is the easiest way to get information quickly, but don’t be afraid to call either.

2)     Ask questions to prospective inspectors

Once you have settled on an inspector, you should call and speak to the staff.

We have previously released a blog about the 5 questions you should ask your building and pest inspector.

By getting in early and asking these questions before booking, you can be better informed about the inspection process.

3)     De-clutter your home

One of the biggest impediments to a building inspection is obstructions that prevent inspectors from getting in and looking at areas of the home.

As inspections are purely visual, inspectors cannot move, shift, destroy or alter any part of your home. Thus, they will not inspect an area they cannot access.

For example, if a garage is cluttered and inaccessible, an inspector will not move objects out of the way.

They will simply make a note in the report that they area was inaccessible, and the room may have faults.

Beyond the usual clutter like cardboard boxes, things like cars, rubbish bins and large bushes are all obstructions too. You should endeavour to remove these.

An example of clutter that prevents a full and proper inspection of a room.

4)     Unlock your home

Another obstruction that will prevent an inspector from looking at every possible area is locked doors.

Obviously, if I door is locked and we have no means of opening it, we will not inspect the room.

As such, you should unlock and open garages and any other doors you might normally lock, or at least provide keys to the inspector or selling agent.

5)     Remove pets

We love dogs and cats as much as anyone, but pets can be a major distraction to any building and pest inspection.

Furthermore, if they are conducting treatments for termites, it is wise to keep cats and dogs away from chemicals.

Contact Dedant today

Dedant offers high quality, value for money inspections. With over 10 years of experience, we are a local, family owned business you can trust.

Contact us on our website, Facebook or via our phone number, 07 3807 0122.

5 Common Causes of Household Water Leakage

Moisture and water leakage are the reason behind many issues around the home. Thus, you should know the most common causes of household water leakage.

Water leakage causes rust on metal, creates mould and it causes wood to decay.

At Dedant, we have had over a decade of experience conducting building inspections. That means we know exactly where water leakage tends to originate from.

By knowing the common causes of household water leakage, you can protect your home from these issues.

1)     Air conditioners

Air conditions are one of the most common causes of water leakage.

Your air conditioner produces water as part of the cooling process, some of which is used to cool the air and some of which is sent out the back of the unit.

As such, there will inevitably be leakages. It is recommended you have a way to divert water away from your home and into the garden, such as a pipe or hose.

If you do not, this can cause puddles to form which cause rust and decay to your home.

An example of an air conditioner without proper drainage, which has rust along the bottom of the unit

2)     Clogged gutters and downpipes

Gutters and downpipes are designed to divert rainwater away from the home and into somewhere it cannot do damage.

When gutters and downpipes become clogged with objects such as leaves, this causes the overflow to spill down onto the property.

As such, you should endeavour to keep gutters and downpipes free of debris. Trim nearby trees to stop leaves from falling into the gutter.

For a gutter such as this, the obstruction of the leaves will prevent water from flowing through and safety away from your home.

3)     Plumbing ages over time

No matter how good quality plumbing you have, it will not last forever.

As the months and years go by, the plumbing corrodes and rusts over time. This will cause it to leak.

You should periodically get your plumbing examined, to ensure it can be replaced in a timely manner.

Furthermore, this also applies to seals placed on water connectors too.

Older pipes which are now leaking.

4)     High water pressure

If water pressure becomes too high, it puts strain on your pipes which can lead to rattling, loud noises, pinhole leaks or even burst your pipes entirely.

Therefore, if you are worried about the pressure or hear loud noises when turning on the water to your shower or sink, contact a professional to measure the pressure.

5)     Changes in the temperature

Many pipes that make up household plumbing are made with metal.

Thus, when they are subject to extreme temperatures the pipes will expand and contract.

These movements can damage, crack or dislodge the plumbing which can cause leaks.

Contact Dedant if you’re worried about your pipes

Water leakages, mould and decay are all things that attract termites to your home.

As such, Dedant can conduct a high-quality building and pest inspection complete with moisture reading and thermal vision cameras.

We can assess major and minor defects to your home, such as leaks and moisture, as well as the existence of any pests such as termites.

Building Inspections in Brisbane

Things We Do Not Inspect During A Building and Pest Inspection

Before you get your Building and Pest Inspection, it is important to know the areas that are not inspected in a building and pest inspection.  Our qualified building and pest inspectors have extensive experience in the building industry and are very knowledgeable about building, structure, building hazards and identifying maintenance issues.  They are also experienced pest controllers specialising in termite inspections and management.  Specialists in other fields that you might want to also get advice on for your new home purchase could include plumbers, electricians, swimming pool technicians, air conditioning technicians, smoke alarm technicians.

By knowing what we do not inspect beforehand, this will allow you to make the necessary arrangements with other inspectors, electricians and tradespeople so every aspect of your home can be examined.

1)     Electrical wiring

Inspectors at Dedant Building and Pest Inspectors are not electricians.

As such, we are not qualified to assess the safety or condition of your electric wiring, switches, power points or any appliances around the home. We only check if the electricity is connected.

If you are concerned about fire and safety standards of the electrical work within your home, we can refer you to a qualified electrician if you contact us.

Have all your electrical work and appliances tested by an expert.

2)     Plumbing

At Dedant we turn taps on to examine leakage, we can either attract or be a sign of termites.

However, inspectors at Dedant are not plumbers, so we do not examine plumbing conditions generally.

We do not look at water pressure, whether the hot water system works, pipe connections, whether toilets are prone to clog, whether your shower floods etc.

For a comprehensive look at your plumbing, a qualified plumber will be able to advise you.

3)     Gas

During our inspections, we do not look at gas, nor fireplaces or chimneys. Anyone who installs, inspects or alters any part of a gas system must have a gas inspection certificate.

Gas is generally found in water heating, ovens, stoves and other appliances. However, as it is both flammable and toxic, gas comes with an inherent risk.

The risk of a gas leak, fire or explosion is too great to ignore. If you are concerned about gas appliances within your home, we can refer you to relevant experts.

4)     Pools

Furthermore, Dedant does not conduct pool inspections. As part of our reports, we recommend that any client with a pool contact a pool expert.

This expert will examine the pool shell, equipment and fencing.  A pool safety inspection might also need to be conducted.

It is important to get regular pool safety inspections, as pools can be dangerous if proper safety standard are not met, particularly for people 5 or under.

Dedant does not conduct inspections of pools. We recommend you consult with a qualified expert.

5)     Risk of natural disasters

Dedant will not provide any commentary on the risk of flooding, earthquake, hurricanes, mudslide or any other natural disaster that impact the structural integrity of the property.

6)     Restricted areas

Our inspectors first consideration is always their health and safety. Thus, they will not go to or inspect any area that is not safe or reasonable to access.

For example, a floor with broken glass or nails sticking out is an unsafe area, an area with loose or broken asbestos or a roof void with foil insulation.

Likewise, inspectors cannot conduct an invasive inspection of your property. This means they cannot look inside walls, behind cupboards, inside eaves or by lifting floorboards etc.

Similarly, we cannot move furniture, remove screw bolts or cut holes in anything.

 

An example of restricted access due to clutter.

For more information

For more information on inspections, check out our website. Alternately, you can contact us through our website, on Facebook or 07 3807 0122.