TERM-seal is perhaps synonymous with pre-construction termite treatments, but such is the flexibility of TERM-seal products that they can be vital tools in providing termite protection for existing buildings.
When termites attack a building, more often than not they have exploited a weakness in the construction design. As such, although dealing with active termites is the first step, fixing the construction faults before the installation of any termite management system is an important, but often overlooked part of the treatment proposal.
Peter Brigden, Queensland manager for TERM-seal, recalls a ‘classic’ example where construction design led to termite incursion and the solution involved using a range of products to treat the infestation, prevent future concealed entry and provide lasting protection.
“The home in question was a large, luxurious three-level home on the banks of the Brisbane River. The three-storey construction consisted of concrete floors and concrete block walls, as it was built into the riverbank. Houses built this way often utilise materials that are mostly termite-proof, but as we know, there is always something for the termites to eat, and on this occasion, they damaged timber fittings in the bathroom,” explained Mr Brigden.
“Although the house was regularly inspected, there was no termite management system in place and the entry point was through a gap in the mortar in the block walls that were constructed for a set of stairs to the lower level.”
As is required with any termite treatment proposal, the first step is to control the active termites and, whenever possible, make every attempt to eliminate the colony.
“Many customers are unaware that TERM-seal has a very effective termite baiting system as part of our product portfolio. Developed in Australia and optimised for Australian termite species, our Demise monitoring system uses our highly palatable Abide termite bait. In this particular case, Abide was applied in above-ground bait stations, located in the areas of termite feeding activity in the bathroom. Within a couple of months activity had ceased, with assumed colony control,” said Mr Brigden.
With the active termites eliminated from the building, it was important to ‘seal’ gaps in the construction design to prevent concealed termite entry in the future.
“The flexibility in the application of TERM-seal Sealant Active and Multi-purpose Active Coating make them ideal for fixing post-construction problems. Designed to cope with movement and also being waterproof, TERM-seal Sealant Active was used to seal the blockwork gaps. After treating external walls with TERM-seal Prime Coat, applications of Multi-purpose Active created a termite-resistant and waterproof membrane.
“With the construction now secure from concealed entry, the owner, now fully aware of the termite risks, was keen to install a termite management system around the property. As is the case with sloping blocks and properties cut into banks, installing a termite monitoring system rather than a liquid soil treatment is the recommended termite management system.
“We installed the TERM-seal Demise monitoring system around the property. Containing hardwood timber and TERM-seal’s Converge termite activity accelerant, Demise is designed to pick up any activity in the area. With the Converge termite feeding accelerant in the bait stations, if there are foraging termites nearby, termite numbers can build up quite quickly, allowing quicker feeding and faster control once the Abide termite bait is added.
“We find termite monitoring and baiting installations very popular with our customers. Not just for installation on sites where liquid termite treatments cannot be made – termite bait systems provide both functional and emotional benefits for homeowners. Not only does the ongoing monitoring and baiting reduce the termite pressure in the area, for homeowners that have suffered a termite attack, the regular visits to inspect the stations are very reassuring,” concluded Mr Brigden.