Termites and Your New Home

The current trend in new construction is to install a termite barrier as part of the building structure. One such product is called Kordon Termite Barrier, another one is Termseal, a fibrous material infused with a termiticide chemical. The material is generally placed under slab or above brickworks. Termites will avoid it and those that don’t are killed on contact.

Older homes probably don’t have a termite barrier like Kordon or termseal installed in the walls. So you’ll need to look for signs of termites. Here are some tips for identifying potential problems in or around a building. Keep your eyes open for these problem areas.

These areas should be thoroughly inspected before purchasing a new home:

• Check the foundation for cracks and gaps which are not sealed. Not only can termites gain access that way, so can other creepy crawly insects, rodents and pest attracting moisture can get there as well.
• If you see mud tubes on the building along the foundation or even on fences, then this is an indication of termites.
• Look for exterior wood trim that is rotting. This is food for termites and all they need is a way to access the material. Check into the exterior and interior areas for rotting trim and wood.
• Doors and windows are another invitation for termites to gain access to interior walls where timber beams and more is waiting for the hungry termites.
• Attic spaces are a great place for termites to live undetected. This is a tough place to inspect, but you can evaluate the exterior for entry points where the termites can access the interior.
• If you come across a pile of insect wings these were left behind by a swarm of termites leaving a nest in search of food.

Even if you have a professional home inspector review the soundness of a building, it never hurts perform your own investigation for pest problem areas. Check both inside and outside of the home to see if there are any active pest infestations, or signs of past infestations.