Termite damage: monetary gloom

imagesHome is where the heart is might be true, but not always. Termites are a breed of nasty insects that can threaten the structural integrity of the very house we live in. Termites are wood feeders and they ravage anything containing cellulose. Wood is by far termites’ favorite food of all time. Moreover they eat 24*7, thus increasing their potential for causing damage by leaps and bounds. The after effects of termite damage are seen in various sectors and application.

Termites attack in groups and feed on any form of cellulose especially wood. This little bit of trivia makes us realize that almost everything around us is susceptible to a termite attack. Termites always seek for moisture filled places and therefore basements and the space under wooden boards are their favorable infestation places. Termite damage often looks similar to water damage. Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floor sand ceilings, areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Termite infestations also can exude a scent similar to mildew or mold. Dry wood termite infestations may only become apparent after a colony has burrowed so deeply into an infested item that the veneer cracks and the maze-like tunnels beneath become visible. Such damage is common in antique furniture pieces. Termite infestations are rampant all over the world.

Let us look at the following news article:

Builder to pay $98,000 over termite damage to home

Vanessa Marsh

18th Sep 2013 6:00 AM

A Woodgate builder has been ordered to pay a client almost $100,000 after their home suffered severe termite damage due to “faulty construction”.

A WOODGATE builder has been ordered to pay a client almost $100,000 after their home suffered severe termite damage due to “faulty construction”.

In November 2001, Martha and Todd Tracey hired licensed builder Rodney Wagner to build a low set brick veneer home on a concrete slab on their block of land in Woodgate.

“While the builder was the company Olindaridge, the construction was carried out by Mr Wagner and of course the builder’s subcontractors,” a judgement by Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) member David Lewis said.

“One of those was Termimesh – its role was to install a product called termimesh around the perimeter of the slab, and to penetrations in the slab.”

In 2008, the Tracey’s noticed “odd things” about their Woodgate house.

“The cornices were dropping in places, and doors were binding,” Mr Lewis said.

“They did not understand the problem. However in September that year they discovered what looked like dirt coming out of the walls, and contacted another builder, a Mr Keith Morgan, who lived nearby.

Mr Morgan investigated and found live termites in the wall between the main bedroom and the ensuite. He advised them to contact a pest control contractor.”

The couples were unable to contact Termimesh so they engaged Victory Pest Control who treated termites in the bedroom wall and placed a chemical barrier around the perimeter but this did not solve the problem and they had to return eight times between September 2008 and May 2010.

Mr Lewis was presented with evidence of two possible points of entry by the termites.

“A very considerable body of evidence points to the ensuite shower floor and the vent pipe as being the points of entry for the termites,” he said.

“The only evidence (as opposed to speculation) to the contrary is Mr Wagner’s statement that there were no holes visible in the shower recess at the time of construction. Given that this is contrary to the established facts, it must be discounted.

“This tribunal must decide on the balance of probabilities, not on scientific certainty. On that basis the evidence is all one way, and I find that these two points are the entry points for the termites and that such entry has resulted from faulty construction.”

Mr Lewis said the home had been “extensively damaged”.

“A number of rooms are affected, and the engineers confirm that in some respects the structural integrity of the walls has been compromised to the extent that they should be replaced,” he said.

Mr Lewis ordered Mr Wagner pay Mr and Mrs Tracey $98,600 within 28 days from the judgement date of August 5.

The above article just illustrates the extent of damage these inconspicuous creatures can cause if over looked. A termite infestation is extremely difficult to counter and takes a long time to do so.

Thus an effective solution needs to be formulated to keep these creatures from giving us any further grief. Avoidance is a better solution than treatment in his case, as it is very difficult to save a piece of wood once it has been attacked by termites. The right and smart thing to do would be to keep them away from our precious wood. This is effectively achieved by Termirepel™ a non-toxic, aversive termite repellant which keeps the termites away while at the same time not killing them.