Termite Action Group » When having a Home Constructed Part 3
When having a Home Constructed Part 3

Many L.O.S.P. timber treatments are envelope treatments only which thereby provide access for termites to the heart of the timber, wherever the timber has been cut, trimmed or modified.  These treatments often have little impact on heartwood treating the sapwood only!

Borate (Boron) timber treatments are far superior to L.O.S.P. timber treatments in providing a raft of extra benefits including fire retardancy and anti-fungal protection combined with superior penetration of timber.

Borate treated timber would provide far greater level of protection against termites than would a steel frame!

In fact, boron timber treatments provide the best form of termite protection currently in the market place and are able to provide comprehensive treatments that protect the timber for life!

Many systems and products demand extreme scrutiny before they are placed in or around your home. Some of these products, when placed between brickwork, may cause ‘shearing of the joint’.

Shearing of a joint occurs where a physical barrier, which is sandwiched between the bricks and mortar, causes the mortar and bricks not to adhere to one another. Because the bricks and mortar are not bound to each other, this allows movement to take place when ground movement is experienced by the structure. The effects of this can be catastrophic.

As can be seen, there are a multitude of problems and queries that will need to be thoroughly addressed prior to commencing the construction of your home.

Before you enter into a contract with a builder for the purposes of having a home constructed you should ask the following questions in a written checklist form and receive written answers as undertakings by the builder which are signed off and form part of the contract.

You should note that these questions relate more specifically to ‘slab on ground’ type construction.

  1. What termite management system or product do you recommend that I use in my home?
  2. Is the termite management system or product that you recommend a physical termite management system or a chemical termite management system?
  3. How does it work?
  4. What assurances as a builder can you provide me in relation to the professional installation of the suggested system?
  5. What benefits does the termite management system you recommend provide me as a Homeowner?
  6. Will the pest manager that you contract to provide and install pest management systems during the construction of my home have the appropriate qualifications, meet state licensing requirements and be fully insured?
  7. Will the pest manager be a current member of the recognised industry body for pest management, the Australian Environmental Pest Managers’ Association (AEPMA)?  Will the pest manager be a participating member of PestCert?
  8. If not, am I able to nominate a suitable pest manager to be contracted for the provision and installation of termite management systems in the construction of my home?
  9. Will the concrete slab be monolithic (single pour) in construction or will there be cold joints which, if left untreated, might provide termite entry points? (If construction involves a concrete slab)
  10. Because the concrete slab forms the most extensive part of the termite barrier, will the slab be constructed in strict accordance with the Australian Standard AS 2870 for domestic slabs, inclusive of vibrating, compaction, mpa rating and curing for the required time period?

These initial questions should provide you with an understanding of what the builder intends to provide you in terms of termite management.  Once you have determined what the builder’s view is with regard to chemical or physical termite management systems and understood his recommendations and assurances, you should address your questions as follows:

Where a chemical termite management system is recommended by the builder.

  1. Will a properly accredited Pest Manager complete an inspection of the property prior to any building works being undertaken so as to take precautions and reduce the risk of subterranean termite infestation by eliminating any nest of wood-feeding species of subterranean termites found within the property boundaries, up to a distance of 50 metres from the proposed new building work in accordance with the Australian Standard AS3660.1?
  2. How is the chemical to be applied? Will it be by means of spray, reticulation or some other means?
  3. If the system is reticulation, does the reticulation distribute the chemical as per the MSDS labelled rate? Are the hydraulics of the reticulation system able to spread the chemical in such a manner so as to achieve complete and uniform spread and cover as per the chemical’s labelled requirements?
  4. Does the chemical you propose to use have an active constituent of ‘Chlorpyrifos’?
  5. Are you aware of problems with Chlorpyrifos in relation to sunlight, soil alkalinity and longevity in a soil medium? (Ask if Chlorpyrifos is to be used)
  6. What is the chemical that you propose to use?
  7. What soil medium do you propose to use in conjunction with the nominated chemical?
  8. Will I be required to have the “concrete capping strip” if I have this system? (Queensland Residents Only! /  BCQ. Variation)
  9. When pathways, driveways, gardens and other proposed works(specify) are applied to my home will they impact negatively on the chemical termite management system?
  10. When pathways, driveways, gardens and other proposed works(specify) are applied to my home will I still be able to fully retreat and/or replenish the chemical barrier?
  11. What will be the expected lifetime of the chemical barrier when placed in accordance with the MSDS labelled rate?
  12. What guarantee do I have that the chemical barrier will be placed in accordance with the MSDS labelled rate?
  13. What are my responsibilities as a Homeowner in relation to the replenishment and maintenance of the chemical barrier?
  14. Will the system, with regular maintenance, inspection and replenishment last the lifetime of the structure? (i.e. Fifty years)
  15. If the chemical system or treatment is unable to be replenished at a later date and expensive drilling and injection is required to treat termite ingress despite my compliance with the inspection process and any other requirements of the termite management system provider, will you, as the builder, personally accept the associated costs and responsibilities of restoring my home to its previous condition, both internally and externally, where post-treatment works may affect carpet, tiles, flooring, driveways, pathways, porticos, etc.?
  16. If I comply with all these requirements, what written guarantee or warranty, above and beyond that provided by the system installer or manufacturer, do I receive from you as the builder with whom I have the contract?