Alternative termite control methods now fall into four broad categories - physical barriers, chemical barriers, resistant materials and design for early detection.
- Various forms of metal mesh barriers.
- Specially graded granite chips.
- Exposed concrete floor slab constructed as a termite barrier in itself, with the edges, joints and pipe openings protected by metal mesh or granite chips. The edges can also be protected by ensuring that the external ground level is below the visible slab edge and the slab continuity is maintained, especially under the wet areas of the home.
- 'Under slab' re-chargeable reticulation systems using approved pesticides which can be reapplied when necessary.
- Hand spraying of non-organochlorine chemicals where these are shown to have the required effectiveness and are approved by Australian Standards. The chemical must also be sprayed, injected or poured into a trench around the perimeter of the house, after the completion of the building works.
- Construction features, such as the use of masonry, steel, or termite resistant timber which will prevent termite damage to structural components of the house.
- Building designs featuring raised floors and ant caps to enable inspections under the floor. Your builder can explain further.
A combination of these methods may be used according to the particular circumstances of the home.
This list is by no means comprehensive and the alternatives may not all be appropriate for your home. Each option is subject to individual assessment and approval by the building surveyor from your local council.
Some of the above methods are designed to minimise the risk of termite infestation, while others are intended to make early detection easier.
Preventative measures offered by the builder extend only to protecting structural components and will not necessarily protect furniture or non-structural elements, such as skirting boards, door frames and cupboards. This reinforces the need for regular inspections.
The selected option or combination of control methods should be determined before a building contract is signed and before the builder applies for a building licence.
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