Certified Home inspections has Inspected and treated 1000's of homes for Termites (white ants). When it comes to termites getting in to buildings damaging homes there are some common areas we find termites have gained access .
Most of the active termites and damage we find is in concealed wet or damp areas around the home. Bathrooms, Laundries, kitchens and Sub floors areas are the major ones. Additionally other areas termites gain access are through obstructed weep holes and where timber is in contact with the ground and house. Termites even gain access over termite barriers and in this case (see Picture below) they are exposed so you can see them. But the problem here no one noticed them and had even set up a nest in the roof void. This is why it is recommended you have at least one termite inspection a year. In fact where moisture accumulates termites are likely to turn up.
So if you have any leaking taps, open overflows etc discharging water adjacent to your home you need to fix them straight away. Like us termites need moisture to survive.
Roof voids are a common area to find termites as it is very warm , so it is essential that roof voids are checked during inspections. As you can see in this video below they even attack treated timbers. These white ants were found during a Building and Pest inspection.. Now that's something you don't want . This could have been avoided if the owners got regular inspections and to top it off this contract fell over because of this.
Other things these areas have in common is warmth and moisture or high humidity, ideal conditions for them . White ants prefer warmth and humidity and if found in large enough numbers can generate enough heat to be able to be detected by a Thermal Camera. So have a look at out our Termite Inspection using a Thermal Camera page.
Bathrooms and showers.
Termites are attracted to moisture and wet timber so bathrooms and showers are like a magnet if there are any plumbing leaks and or shower waterproofing is not working . So it is essential you get your home inspected at least every 12 months and we check for moisture in these areas. Also make sure the silicone and grout is regularly maintained. Also houses built before the year 2000 mostly had chemical under slab treatments done and will have expired. So where plumbing penetrates the slab , these areas are at risk of termites gaining access, especially if you have any moisture issues.
A likely place for termites to attack is in the wall behind the shower. We have learnt (from our experience) that a shower rose which has a removable shower heads commonly leak.
Why? they are bashed around when you take them out and put them back in. So Directly behind the wall is a connection which has been soldered into place and is ridged. Over time and with a lot use, they can sometimes crack and leak. This tiny leak can go on for months unnoticed.
These leaks are usually the size of a pinhead and have a fine mist. You only notice once staining appears on the dry wall sheeting on the other side of the shower. So this leads to a high moisture area and will decay the timber framing. Additionally this is highly attractive to termites.
It's not only the shower rose that can lead to moisture issues. Other common reasons for high moisture readings can be caused from the breaking down of the silicone and grout or the waterproof membrane. This can normally be rectified reasonably cheaply with a re grout and seal.
The Sub floor is one of the main areas we find white ants and most people do not like going in there. So this area gets neglected by most people as there is lots of creepy crawlies in there. The sub floor should be checked regularly for plumbing leaks, drainage issues and to make sure there is plenty of Ventilation. Poor Ventilation and drainage will keep a sub floor moist and being protected from the environment makes this a great place for termites to start a nest. Having moisture in this area gives termites the ideal conditions for their nest and they make their mud leads into your home. Are you starting to see the value in a termite barrier?
Sub floors are a common place to store items for future use. We find a lot of stored building materials, unused timber, furniture etc under there ready for those "one day I'll" use these items. This is definitely not a good idea as you are providing a food source for white ants.
If you have to store timber in the sub floor make sure it is elevated off the ground. So if you get it up off the ground gives you some visibility. So make sure you look underneath it every month for signs of activity. If you don't like getting in there make sure you get regular termite inspections done and at least once a year.
most common termite damage areas.
These are just a few of the areas we find active termites. But they all have one thing in common and that is moisture. Also make sure you do not have gardens next to the house as these areas retain moisture. Also the build up of debris supplies a food source and the build up covers weep holes. This allows the termites to get in undetected.
Most common termite damage areas.
So it can take quite some months of termite activity before you would start to notice if at all. Most times it's people cleaning and knocking the vacuum or mop against walls for it to go through it. Either that or bubbling or rippling paint around windows or door jambs. Even doors falling off . This is why at the very least we recommend an annual termite inspection to all our customers. Give our office a call on 07 32008586 or fill out our online form.