Areas of high moisture should be investigated by way of an invasive inspection. If high moisture is reported then you must have a building expert investigate the moisture and its cause and determine the full extent of damage and the estimated cost of repairs.
For the same reason, poor drainage, especially in the subfloor, greatly increases the likelihood of wood decay and termite attack. Where drainage is considered inadequate, a plumber, builder or other building expert should be consulted.
Hot water services and air conditioning units which release water alongside or near to building walls should be piped to a drain (if not possible then several meters away from the building) as the resulting wet area is highly conductive to termites.
Ventilation, particularly to the subfloor region is important in minimising the opportunity for Timber Pests to establish themselves within a property.
Where external concrete slab edges are not exposed there is a high risk of concealed termite entry. In some buildings built since July 1995 the edge of the slab forms part of the termite shield system. In these buildings and inspection zone of at least 75mm should be maintained to permit detection of termite entry. The concrete edge should not be concealed by render, tiles, cladding, flashings, adjoining structures, paving, soil, turf or landscaping etc. Where this is the case you should arrange to have the slab edge exposed for inspection. Concealed termite entry may already be taking place but could not be detected at the time of inspection. This may have resulted in concealed timber damage.
Note: A very high proportion of termite attacks are over the edge of both infill and other concrete slab types. Covering the edge of a concrete slab makes concealed termite entry easy. Infill slab type construction has an even higher risk of concealed termite ingress as the slab edge is concealed due to construction design and cannot be exposed.
The type of slab may only be determined by assessment of the construction plans by a qualified person e.g. Builder, Architect. Construction plans may be obtainable by your conveyancer. Termite activity and or damage may be present in concealed timbers of the building.
We strongly recommend frequent regular inspections in accordance with AS 3660.2. where the slab edge is not fully exposed or the slab is an infill slab or the slab type cannot be determined then we strongly recommend inspections every 3 to 6 months in accordance with AS 3660.2 and/or a preventative termite barrier be installed.
Infill slab: a slab on the ground cast between walls. Other slabs should be in accordance with AS 2870-1996 and AS3660.1-2000.
It is very important that soil, lawn, concrete paths or pavers do not cover the weep holes. Sometimes they have been covered during the rendering of the brick work. They should be clean and free flowing. Covering the weep holes in part or in whole may allow undetected termite entry.
Termite shields should be in good order and condition so termite workings are exposed and visible. This helps stop termites gaining undetected entry. Joins in the shielding should have been soldered during installation. Whenever it is observed that the joins in the shielding have not been soldered then the shielding must be reported as inadequate. It may be possible for a builder to repair the shielding. If not, a chemical treated zone may need to be installed to deter termites from gaining concealed access to the building. Missing, damaged or poor shields increase the risk of termite infestation.