I’ve had a lot of clients lately explaining to me that they believe they are safe from termites because they have a block home. This is of concern to me so I thought I would share the truth behind this myth to protect your home. Most of the clients we speak to are very shocked when I tell them that at least 50% of homes that we see with termite problems are in fact masonry block homes. The fact is… block homes are generally built sitting on a concrete slab. This means that the home is sitting on the ground where the termites live, making it very desirable for termites to try to find there way in.
Townsville has a lot of the older block homes, and because if this we often find they don’t have the cores of the blocks filled with concrete. This also makes it very easy for the termites to enter the home straight up the inside of the block… completely undetected! In saying that, whilst I would love to say that concrete filling stops termites…we also regularly see modern block homes infested with termites that are core filled. They enter through penetrations in the slab (eg. Where Plumbing or electrical enters the slab), construction joins in the slab, where an infill slab adjoins the inside of an external wall. Any crack or gap will do for termite infestation! And being the resilient pest they are, quite often they can still make their way up through the core filled wall and into the ceiling.
We recently carried out a termite treatment on a double story, core filled, masonry block home in south Townsville where this had happened. Termites had worked there way up through the mortar joins and into the roof and remember… this was a two story home! They were Mastotermedarwinius, which is the largest and most destructive termite we have in Australia. They are two to three times larger then other species of termites yet they still got through. When you looked from the outside however, the mortar joins look solid from where the bricky runs the trowel over it. But…when we broke them open, they have air pockets everywhere.
Another job we worked on recently is a home out at Oak Valley (20 odd k’s west of Townsville). The client had no idea she had a problem and had asked us to carry out her routine annual termite inspection (something we highly recommend to everyone to minimise problems and infestations). She was shocked to find out that termites (coptotermes acinaciformis) had entered into her ceiling via the inside of a conduit that fed the Foxtel cable into the roof.
Annual termite inspections are very important. I often have Clients ask me if it is necessary to have annual termite inspections. In the case above, if the client hadn’t had her annual termite inspection it could have possibly cost her thousands of dollars more in repairs! The termites had gained entry directly into the the roof void and were showing no other evidence inside the living areas or from the outside. If the termites weren’t detected for another few months there would have potentially been considerable more damage to the roof trusses and batons, along with the internal timber walls (remembering that most block homes have internal untreated pine walls with the external walls being block).
We did up a quote for the client and subsequently carried out the treatment of the termites. The damage to the roof was only cosmetic and the client was happy.
Termites are incredibly prevalent in Townsville and keep us very busy. The 2 cases that were mentioned above are only a few of many more that we carry out every week. I take great pride in finding solutions for people’s termite problems and enjoy seeing happy faces at the end of a job, when the client knows it’s the end of their termite woes. They can rest easy.
Don’t let the growing problem of termite damage and infestation destroy your home.
Paul Williamson. Proprietor
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