Baits

Baits can be used to attract and poison many pests and vermin.

Termite baits can be used as part of a termite management system that attracts termites to the unit and they then take the poison back to their nest and kill the nest once they have been in contact with the chemical. The inner cartridge can be refilled once the chemical is gone.

Rat baits are a great way to poison rats while safe for children and pets.  The baits are secure and locked.

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pool fence sunshine coast

Buying a house in Queensland with a pool – What do you need to know?

Almost 20% of Brisbane residents have a pool.

If you are looking at buying a house with a pool in Brisbane, it is a great idea to get some advice from a pool professional.

Like a pre-purchase building inspection, a pre-purchase pool inspection can save you from costly repairs that you might miss when looking at the property.

In addition, all residential pools must comply with state government regulations by having a pool safety certificate and be registered on the Government’s pool safety register.

Having an unregistered pool is both dangerous and can result in a fine of $235.60-$2356 to the owner.

Pool Safety Certificate

A pool safety certificate is given to properties that pass a pool safety inspection. It is evidence that the pool meets government standards.

When buying a home with a pool, it can be sold to you with or without a pool safety certificate.

The seller must give you a copy of the certificate, which they can access on the pool register which is kept by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

However if you are not given a pool safety certificate you must receive a Form 36-notice of no pool safety certificate prior to entering a contract of sale.

The seller must send a completed copy of the form to the QBCC, before the settlement of the property.

However, if you are renting, the owner must give you a pool safety certificate.

Some pools have clear barriers rather than traditional fences. They still need to comply with the standards set by the QLD government.

Certification

A pool must be pass inspection before it be certified.  As such, a pool safety inspection should be carried out.

This must be conducted by a qualified professional and can cost anywhere from $100 to $250, depending on the size of the pool.

To become an accredited pool safety inspector, they must complete the 10660NAT Course in Swimming Pool Safety Inspections.

Always ensure any inspector you hire has this course completed.

The main issues of pool safety include fences, climbable objects, gates, doors, signage, doors and windows.

Most compliance is based around making sure the pool is not easily accessible to children.

Fences

Fences must be at least 1200mm from the top to the ground level. The gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground should be 100mm.

There must be a gap of at least 900mm between any horizontal railings on the outside, while gaps for vertical railings cannot exceed 100mm.

If the horizontal rails do not have a gap of at least 900mm, then they must be on the inside and the gaps between vertical rails still cannot exceed 100mm.

Claimable objects must be at least 900mm away from the outside of any fence that is less than 1800mm high. For climbable objects inside the fence, climbable objects must be 300mm away.

For fences that are 1800mm high or more, all climbable objects in the pool area should be 900mm from the fence.

Any climbable object too close to the fence effectively reduces the effective height of the fence for the purposes of an inspection.

A pool with a tall fence.

Gates

The pool gate must not open inwards and must be self-closing and self-latching from all positions.

Latches must be at least 1500mm from the ground and 1400mm above the highest horizontal bar.

If not, it must be necessary to reach over through the fence at a height of 1200mm off the ground in order to open.

Alternately, it must be at least 1000m above the highest horizontal bar of the fence and 150mm below the top of the gate.

It may also be necessary to put a 450mm radius shield around the latch with no openings larger than 10mm.

Pool gate hinges thicker than 100mm must be 900mm apart, or more. If this is not possible, the lower hinge must have a non-climbable safety cap to prevent climbing.

Signage

A compliant CPR sign must be displayed near the pool so that it is easily visible near the pool.

Doors and windows

As per the guidelines, no door from the house or other building should lead directly into the pool area. Any entrant should always be required to go through the proper gate.

Any window that opens into the pool area must have a security screen or must not open wider than 100mm.

Provided all these elements of your pool meet the standards, you pool will receive a Pool Safety Certificate.

Pre-Purchase Pool Inspection

A pre-purchase pool inspection determines the integrity of the pool and ensures everything is working as it should.

This inspection looks at elements such as the appearance of the pool surface, pool filtration, pumps, light, water/chemical balance, pool cleaner, skimmer box, baskets and more.

The underground plumbing might also be inspected, checking for leaks.

Upon completion of an inspection, you will be issued a full written report that will go over the details.

Using information about any faults, you can negotiate with the seller about the price of the home.

pool inspection

Equipment used to service and clean pools.

Pool Handover Inspection

If you are new to owning a pool, a pool handover inspection is a great way to learn how to properly maintain and care for your new pool.

The technician will teach you how to clean the pool, including cleaning the filter and pump.

You will also learn about chlorination and whether to use salt, chlorine or some other form.

You will be taught when and how to empty baskets.

Furthermore, the training will teach you how to adjust timers and setting.

Different pools have different needs, so it is vital to contact an expert and get a pool handover.

termites in ground

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.

termites entering through crack in bricks

Termites can enter through cracks in brickwork, as seen in this image.

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 and decay kingston

Decay and damage like this can be evidence of termites.

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 (with the address censored).

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.

roof rust kenmore

How to prevent rust

Our inspectors at Dedant see several regularly occurring faults with houses. However, one of the most common and most damaging is rust. You should know how to prevent rust in order to protect your home.

Rust is what occurs when metal is exposed to oxygen and moisture. It causes an orange-brown discolouration that erodes the metal, causing it to become brittle and prone to breaking. Rust has even been known to cause bridges to collapse.

You can take these steps to prevent rust in the metals around your home.

An example of rust beginning to form.

1)     Keep metals dry

Rust needs the right conditions to occur – namely, a high amount of moisture and exposure to the sun.

As such, you should endeavour to keep metals dry. Clean all your metal items and surfaces as clean as possible.

One of the most common places to find rust is your gutters, because water gets caught there and causes metal to oxidise, producing rust.

Thus, you should keep your gutters clean to prevent a build-up of moisture.

Gutters are a key source of rust, as they are one of the more common places for moisture to meet metal.

2)     Keep your metals clean

When metals get dirty, generally it is from things like mud or dirt. Mud and dirt can hold water, so when they stick to metal it creates moisture that can produce rust.

By keeping metal clean from dirt and mud, you are keeping them free from another source of moisture.

3)     Paint the metals around your home

If you’re looking to prevent rust, using a paint to insulate the metal from oxygen and moisture is a wise choice.

However, you must choose the correct type of paint. This is because certain paints, such as a water-soluble paint, only makes rust worse.

Instead, consider using rust proofing paints or zinc-rich primers. When applied, these products are specifically designed to stop oxygen and water from touching the metal underneath.

4)     Avoid damage

When metal is scratched or scraped, this removes any sort of coating from the surface and further exposes it to the elements.

Not only that, but the smoother the metal surface, the less water it can hold.

Scratches and cuts on the metal surface hold and trap water, which is why you should endeavour to keep your metal surfaces free from such damage.

The more damaged the roof, the more likely it is for rust to occur.

5)     Scrape away rust early

Rust spreads quickly, but you should be able to remove it if you act fast enough.

You can do this through physically scraping it off using a sander, grinder or oscillating tool. Alternately, there are chemical options you could use.

Ultimately, whatever method you use, the most important thing is to be vigilant. Get in early and get rid of rust before it becomes a larger problem.

Contact us

If you are buying or selling a house, contact Dedant from a building inspection today and we will identify easily seen areas where rust exists.

Call us on 07 3807 0122 or contact us on out website to book.

cracks in settlement logan reserve

Finding cracks around your property

Finding cracks around your home can be evidence of a much more serious problem. As such, you should be cautious if you’ve found cracks around your property.

In this blog, we’ll go over the causes of cracks, where they’re commonly found and what you can do about them.

1)     Cracks found in floor

Cracks in your floor are generally caused by problems with the foundation. These cracks can worsen over time, which can result in water leaks and other issues.

Changes in soil are generally the cause for such cracks.

When the ground around the foundation of your home becomes too try, the soil around the foundation can shrink.

This shrinking weakens the support for the foundation and causes it to move or sink, resulting in cracks.

Inversely, when the soil becomes filled with groundwater, it can expand and push the foundation up, also resulting in cracks.

Cracks found in the floor of your home can be evidence of settling.

2)     Cracks found in walls

Cracks can also be found in the walls of your home. The cause of such cracks can depend on what the wall is made from and can travel up to the ceiling.

The existence of cracks in brick walls can be the result of settling or movement of the soil. However, it can also be the result of poor construction.

Furthermore, cracks in drywall can be the result of faulty taping in panels. Drywall is held together with mud and covered with tape as a way of sticking the various drywall panels together.

If the tape is not properly applied or there is not enough mud to stick the panels together, this can cause tape to peel away and result in fine cracks appearing.

If there is dampness around the crack, you may have issues with water leakage.

Cracks such as this in brick wall can be evidence of shoddy construction work.

3)     Cracks found on roof tiles

There may also be cracks in the tiles of your roof.

These cracks can form as a result of moisture penetrating the tiles and seeping into the pores of the tile. When these tiles heat up from the sun, they expand and cracks form.

Cracks can also form as a result of people walking on the roof or damage from hail, wind, pests or falling debris.

These cracks can cause water to leak into your home resulting in mould and puddles of water in your home.

Cracked roof tiles such as these can be evidence of damage, structural issues or both.

What to do about cracks

Dedant Building and Pest Inspections offers quality inspections and reports for an affordable price. Contact us on our website or call us on 07 3807 0122 to book or find out more.

wasp

4 Tips to help you get rid of Wasps

Wasps are a dangerous and troublesome pest. Your home will never be safe until you get rid of wasps that lurk around your home.

This is because wasps can deliver a nasty sting to you that can cause you pain and even serious injury.

From 2000 to 2013, wasps and bees caused twice as many hospital admissions as snakes.

However, unlike bees, wasps can sting you as many times as they want without dying.

As such, our 5 tips will help you get rid of wasps and ensure your home is always protected.

1)     Fake Nests

As they are naturally territorial animals, wasps will instinctively work to avoid the nests of other wasps and hornets.

Consequently, if they see a nest in an area, they will be more likely to avoid setting up their own nests in this area.

You can take advantage of this by having your own artificial, fake nest placed on your property.

This method is not an 100% effective way to get rid of wasps Instead this option should be should be complimented with other treatment options.

A wasp about to sting a person. Wasp stings can cause a fatal allergic reaction in thousands of people across Australia.

2)     Prevention

There is a common saying that “prevention is the best medicine. This is true of the medical industry and in pest control.

One method of prevention is to stop wasps from entering your home by shoring up any entry points, including cracks in the roofing, damaged windows, doors left ajar and other places small bugs can use to get inside your house.

Sealing off any nooks or crannies around you home will also stop wasps from having the space they need to build their nests.

You can limit opportunities for wasps by taking away sources of food.

Wasps and hornets are attracted to sweet or protein rich foods. These include dog food, soft drinks, fruits or the like.

By disposing of leftovers and keeping these types of foods locked away, this will prevent wasps from being attracted to your home.

get rid of wasp nests

A wasps’ nest. If you see any of these around your home, call a pest inspector immediately.

3)      Bait and Traps

Using traps to bait and dispose of wasps is another method of preventing an infestation in your home.

These traps generally work by luring wasps into a tempting bait inside of a chamber. When wasps go for the bait, they become caught in the chamber and are unable to escape. They quickly die, caught in the trap.

You can make your own trap using a soft drink bottle, scissors and something sweet like sugar or jam. Using this method, wasps will be attracted to the bait rather than your food supply.

However, emptying these traps can prove dangerous as it exposes you to a potential wasp sting.

4)     Pest control

For the best results, you should consult an expert to remove wasps on your behalf.

You should not risk trying to remove a wasp sting on your own. Wasp stings are one of the most common causes of severe allergic reactions, which can be fatal.

Pest controllers have the expertise and training to remove or kill wasps safely, using pesticides.

Dedant Building and Pest Inspections offers a General Pest Treatment that is comprehensive. This treatment is recommended every 12 months to be applied inside and outside the home.

The scope of this treatment includes the roof void, subfloor, garage, carport, shed and clothesline. It is effective at treating and killing spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, ants and wasps.

If you want quality, great value pest control give Dedant a call on 07 3807 0122 or contact us on our website.

water leaking loganlea

Water damage and how to avoid it

Water damage poses a major threat to any property. By allowing water build up and excess moisture in your home, you risk the safety and liveability of the home you love.

Moisture attracts dangerous pests, such as cockroaches, silver fish and termites. It also breeds mould which releases toxic spores into the air which can ruin your health. Such moisture and excess water can also cause structural and aesthetic damage as well.

Given the risks associated with excess moisture, you should do all that you can to avoid this. As such, you’ll share with you our top tips to stop moisture build up in your home.

1) Keep gutters clear

Gutters are designed to control the flow of water off roofs and into an area that will not damage the house.

However, gutters can become blocked by the build-up of debris such as leaves.

A blocked gutter can’t carry water. Instead, water overflows and travels down walls.

This water can seep into your home’s electrical system, pool around your foundation and ruin the external walls of your home.

Ensure down pipes are properly fitted and in good condition as well.

Clogged cutters can cause water to roll off the roof and soak the foundations of the home, damaging it over time.

2) Divert water away from home

One of the most important things you can do to prevent water damage is to make sure water is diverted from your home.

It is ideal to have a landscape in your property that naturally directs water away from your home.

However, some people are not so fortunate. Instead, water will pool up around the home and damage the foundation.

You can help divert water by digging a trench with gently sloping slides to ensure water runoff I directed away from your home.

Water from air conditioning condensation must flow from away house too. Consider getting a catch basin or pipe installed that accomplishes this.

An example of an air conditioner without sufficient drainage.

3) Ensure good ventilation

Poor ventilation creates internal moisture issues. Without proper ventilation, moisture becomes trapped and conditions are ripe for the growth of mould.

Not only that, but air quality suffers, and excess moisture can ruin carpets and stain walls.

The best way to improve ventilation is to keep doors and windows open as much as possible. This allows fresh air to circulate through the home.

You can also make use of fans to further circulate air throughout the home.

Thermal imaging showing excess moisture, conducted during an inspection.

Contact us today

If you’re concerned that your home has been damaged by excess moisture contact Dedant today.

Our Annual Termite Inspection uses a thermal imaging camera and moisture meter to detect pests and excess moisture in your home.

If you would like a comprehensive inspection contact us on our website or call on 07 3807 0122.

gecko

Removing lizards on your property

Lizards are a common sight around Queensland homes. However, not everyone is comfortable having these reptiles around the home. You have many options available for removing lizards.

In this blog, we’re going to share our tips for making sure geckos and skinks leave your home and stay out.

Know the signs

Recognising the signs of a lizard presence if your first step for getting them out of your home.

Geckos communicate with a series of loud clicks and squeaks.

Lizards can drop their tails to distract predators. If you find these tails around your home, this can be evidence that a lizard is occupying your home.

A lizard’s tail after it has fallen off from the body.

Catch and release them if you see them

When removing lizards, it is important not to kill them because some types of lizards are protected species.

Try and catch it and release lizards away from your home if you find them.

If you see a lizard on your wall or on the floor, trap them in a jar and carry them back into the wilderness.

Chopped onions

Driving lizards away from your home is another option.

A natural deterrent to lizards is onions. Lizards cannot stand the smell.

Cut up onions and place them in areas you believe lizards might be. They will flee if they catch wind of the smell.

Alternately, you can use a spray bottle of onion extract and spray it around the home. This will have the same effect.

The smell of cut up onions repels lizards.

Reduce humidity and moisture

Lizards lay eggs and nest in areas with high moisture and humidity.

As such, you should work to improve air circulation to lower moisture. Consider utilising fans and opening doors and windows whenever possible.

Furthermore, to lower moisture you should keep gutters clean, fix leaky pipes, dry laundry outside of the home and use an exhaust fan when cooking.

Lizards will be less likely to enter homes that are drier and cooler.

Get rid of their food source

One of the biggest reasons lizards are attracted to your home is because they find pests there.

This is because they eat ants, larvae, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, termites and other types of pests.

As such, if you remove these pests from your home, lizards will move and look for other areas to find food.

Dedant Building and Pest Inspections offers pest control services that will get rid of all the bugs that lizards feast on.

Call us on 07 3807 0122, through Facebook or on our website to book or to find out more.

building inspections stock image

The types of inspection reports

People can have many different reasons for wanting an inspection report. They may be buying, selling, renovating or concerned an infestation or potential building fault. You should know exactly what inspection reports are available to you and what these reports mean.

When you know how to property interpret the findings, you can make the best possible choice moving forward.

Standard Building and Inspection Report

Standard Building and Pest Inspections are conducted when you are selling your house, purchasing a new property, prior to renovation or for other reasons.

These inspections looks for faults which are listed in reports as either “major”or “minor”.

Major structural defects are issues that require immediate attention. These include termite damage, water leakage and a lack of handrails of stair.

Conversely, Minor structural issues include cosmetic or slight defects that do not threaten your safety or require immediate action. For example, minor issues include peeling paint or partially covered weep holes.

If you know the difference between minor and major issues, you can focus your money and effort onto.

An example of peeling paint.

Dilapidation report

Dilapidation inspection reports examine the buildings surrounding a renovation.

As such, a dilapidation report involves two inspections, carried out before and after renovations commence.

The first report looks at the condition of surrounding homes before any work is done while the second report looks to see if any damage was done to these same houses.

As such, this Dilapidation Report will protect you from litigation, as neighbours may claim that pre-existing faults were caused by your renovations.

Renovation Report

A renovation report will reveal what parts of the house are structurally safe and which are not. All buildings must comply with the relevant building codes.

Renovations in progress for a home we looked at.

 

New Build Handover Reports

New Build Handover inspections look at faults in a recently constructed home you are hoping to buy.

With Dedant you will always get a fair report because we’re independent from your building contractor.

Furthermore, Dedant’s inspectors have had years of experience as builders before entering the building and pest inspection industry. They know what errors to look out for.

A New Build Handover Report looks at major and minor structural defects and make sure everything is up to the standard you expect.

Contact us today

If you’d like to book any of the inspection services mentioned in this blog, or consult to find out which report is most relevant to you, contact us on our website or on 07 3807 0122.