Termites in Heritage Construction Structures

india_800191iThe ancient monumental structures are a symbol of pride and honor for any Nation and their preservation as well as their maintenance is a huge responsibility for the Government.

A lot of such popular spectacular architectures are facing a threat owing to these termites. Such structures face a potential hazard like termite attack of timber and cellulosic materials. This generally happens when the wood starts rupturing and therefore becomes susceptible to attack by the hungry termites that feed basically on dead/ deteriorating wood.

Termites are a group of eusocial insects which thrive mostly in terrestrial environments. Their survival entirely depends upon cellulose consumption images (1)and this is the reason why attack cellulosic fibers like wood, cloth, paper, furniture etc. There is a possibility of attack of these structures by two types of termites. One of them is drywood and the other being the subterranean species. The drywood termites do not require a ground contact while the subterranean termites require some moisture source.

The Formosan Subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) is an invasive species of termite. It is often referred to as super termite due to its destructive nature. These species have a large number of colonies and capable of eating up the wood at a rapid rate.

Formosan subterranean termites infest a wide variety of structures including boats and high-rise Condominiums and can damage trees. In the United States they are responsible for tremendous damage to property resulting in large treatment and repair costs.

In this article, we will enlighten on some astounding termite damages typically the Cultural Heritage structures and also a result oriented alternative to fight this battle against termites the world over.

Termite damage to the cultural heritage structures is a very common scenario in these structures and few such incidents are discussed below:

The Statue of Liberty

Prior to 1996, the termites were great concern for the Officials of the Nationalliberty Park Service. The infestations increased to such an extent that the museum area of the monument in the NY Harbor was temporarily closed to the visitors. The most severe infestations were at the base of the monument that houses the museum and the utility rooms.

Malaysian Temple Roof collapses

Large scale repairs are being carried out in the Guan Yin temple in the town of Gopeng in Perak, Malaysia when the temple authorities saw the temple’s roof coming down. On inspection they found that the termites had eaten the beam supporting the roof. They also found few other beams on the verge of experiencing a similar collapse.

Apparently, the repair costs come out to be really handsome. The restoration cost of the front is RM 200,000 (USD 64,000) and overseers are RM 50,000 that has been donated by the state.

Such a situation not only bothers the Government officials of the developing countries but even the Developed countries are facing such issues.

Termites trigger plan for Polish-style Synagogue

After termites ruined the foundation of their Synagogue, members of Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley have decided to demolish and rebuild. The proposed replacement – a Polish style wooden Synagogue is estimated at $ 3 million.

Termites threaten Buddhist temple in China

imagesThe 130- year old Jade Buddha Temple and few high rise buildings in China are on an alert due to termites. A report by the local architecture quality revealed that the temple walls are weakening due to cracks in them. Efforts are being taken by the authorities to consolidate the buildings inside the temples.

Though the church looks fine externally but it internally it has become hollow. Michael Herenz, Reverend and Presbyter and in- charge of the temple reported that the whole structure can collapse if the repairing work of the temple is carried out.

Historic Christ Church cries for a fresh lease of life

60027947The 170- year old Christ Church in Guwahati, India has been reported to be slowly ruining as termites have eaten into the teakwood pillars though it still looks proper. It is one of the few remaining heritage structures left in the city.

Koreans battling the fiery hot weather and the termites

Major Korean cultural heritages are built of wood which invites the deadly as well as the hungry termites. In the 1920s termites were confined to just few parts of the peninsula but now they have made their presence everywhere from the Jeju in the south to the Gangwon in the north and this has made this battle much more serious in the past few years. The Government Authorities are conducting inspections on 63 wooden national treasures in the Daegu and North Gyeongsang regions.

This has been a very critical issue for the Government Authorities as this issue is never ending as a matter of fact, with time the wood ruptures making it a delicious snack for the termites.

Termirepel™ for the ancient wooden architectures

Termirepel™ is a non- toxic, non- hazardous and environmentally friendly anti termite masterbatch for a wide variety of Polymeric specifically for use in fiber optic cables and wires and coating applications like wood preservatives, termite barriers etc.

The wooden structures like high rise buildings, the Monumental structures and also the wooden support beams or foundation are susceptible to attack by termites. Many countries are in war against the termites and have put in a lot of efforts but the insecticides which are generally used like Bifenthrin, Permethrin, Resmethrin, Imidaclorid or fumigation do act against them but it is a toxic alternative and additionally, the termites and other insects have become immune to the termiticides.

Termirepel™ works well for such issues as it functions well as a promising wood preservative and has advantages of being toxic free as well as non- hazardous. The masterbatch does not comprise any toxic heavy metallic compounds like copper or lead.

Termirepel™ has a unique mechanism of deterring the termites/ insects using its unique chemical composition as a weapon against them. Consequently, as soon as a termite comes into contact with Termirepel™ incorporated application it suffers an unpleasant reaction and undergoes few temporary changes within its reproductive cycle. This gradually programs the insect in a way that they perceive that Termirepel™ is something for which they must withdraw their sting.