Whether you’re renovating or adding an extension to increase a property’s value or for an improvement in your quality of life, the planning process can be challenging. There are just so many factors you need to consider, from budgets and timelines to regulatory compliance, getting the right tradesmen and project management issues.
There is one critical aspect that is often overlooked, but one that can cause serious headaches down the track – pest management. Unfortunately homes and businesses in Queensland are at a greater risk of pest damage, thanks to the State’s climate and areas of natural wilderness. Termites are a particular threat, and can enter and infest an unprotected property within a very short space of time, causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to vulnerable timber structures and features.
We’re always surprised at how many people plan a brand new renovation, extension or even a new build without including one of the many termite protection solutions available on the market. This is a mistake because:
- As with most things to do with construction, it’s always cheaper and easier to install physical and chemical termite barriers during the early phases of the building process. Physical barriers, which have an effective lifespan of over 10 years and are one of the most recommended forms of termite control, can only be laid during early construction phases such as before the pouring of concrete.
- There are a number of rules and regulations relating to renovations and extensions that relate to pest management. These include the mandatory Form 16 Inspection Certificate and Government Building Codes such as Australian Standard AS3660.1.
Any renovation or extension that does not meet these strict rules may need to be modified or, in extreme cases, pulled down and started again.
Talk to A Pest Control Expert During The Planning Phase
The best thing to do before starting any renovations or an extension is to talk to a pest management expert. They’ll be able to help you choose the most efficient and effective method for termite control for the type of building you’ll be doing, as well as carry out any necessary work required on site. They will also be able to provide a regular maintenance schedule once the building has been completed.
Not all termite management solutions are the same, and not all will be suitable for your type of property or renovation. The most common pest control methods for renovations and extensions include:
- Physical termite barriers: These are similar to a moisture barrier, and resemble a sheet or a blanket that is laid across the top of a concrete slab. Once it’s in place, the frame of the building can be commenced. Physical barriers work by effectively sealing off the foundations of a building, forming a layer that termites can’t penetrate.
- Termite Reticulation Systems: These systems use specially designed chemicals to repel termites, which are delivered via a network of pipes under the ground next to the foundations. The system sprays an even amount of the chemical into the surrounding area, providing a safe and secure barrier that keeps termites from entering the property. Reticulation systems are ideal for renovations and extensions because of their ability to provide a barrier in the gap that is created when a new slab of concrete is poured next to an existing slab.
- Exposed Slab: Slabs that have been raised at least 75mm from the ground level are a great alternative to a chemical or physical termite barrier. Unlike traditional concrete slabs that are either set below ground level or are even with it, exposed slabs can actually be seen, and they provide a visual barrier – you will actually be able to see the termites trying to crawl their way up and into the property.
No one wants to embark on a renovation project only to discover that parts of the building may not comply with legislation, or may even need to be torn down and started again. Getting the right advice can save you thousands in pest management fees in the future, as well as help you to comply with all relevant state, federal and council building rules.
Article Submitted By Community Writer