"Inadequate" Ant Capping

Ant capping is barrier that prevents termites from being able to get into a building undetected, this is generally made of a strip of galvanised metal shielding. It's very purpose is not to stop termites completely, but to give them some sort of obstruction so that they have to build a mud shelter tube to go around. 

These can often be overlooked and forgotten about when renovations take place, repairs or changes are made to the existing building and sometimes can just rot away without anyone noticing.

The ant capping metal shield with it's inspection edge being completely covered by a cover strip.

The ant capping metal shield with it's inspection edge being completely covered by a cover strip.

This ant cap was not joined properly during construction, and to add to the potential problems, is clearly rusting away.

This ant cap was not joined properly during construction, and to add to the potential problems, is clearly rusting away.

An addition to this property has resulted in the ant capping being compromised, you can clearly see that the ant cap does not completely cover the new vertical cover strip, causing an easy passage for termites to get in undetected.

An addition to this property has resulted in the ant capping being compromised, you can clearly see that the ant cap does not completely cover the new vertical cover strip, causing an easy passage for termites to get in undetected.

Vertical Transitions such as this one, are a commonplace entry point for termites.

Vertical Transitions such as this one, are a commonplace entry point for termites.

This photo clearly demonstrates a vertical transition where the ant capping is not joined, for the ant capping to be effective both the lower and upper sections of ant capping need to be joined in the middle to form a continuous barrier. In this particular case, it was virtually impossible to visually inspect between the two levels as there was poor access. That's why it's important to get it right during the construction phase.

This photo clearly demonstrates a vertical transition where the ant capping is not joined, for the ant capping to be effective both the lower and upper sections of ant capping need to be joined in the middle to form a continuous barrier. In this particular case, it was virtually impossible to visually inspect between the two levels as there was poor access. That's why it's important to get it right during the construction phase.

Potential problems..waiting to happen.

Building using recycled materials certainly makes ecological sense, however, they need to be understood so as to be used most effectively. Used railway sleepers are often used in new building work, but they are usually not treated and can also be a problem when attached to a building. It's best to avoid using any recycled susceptible timber if it comes into contact with the ground.

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A retaining wall/landscaping timber attached to a building, causing a potential breaching point for termites. 

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These timbers will negatively impact both a physical and chemical barrier.

Keep checking reticulation!

Termite management systems, by and large are effective. However, problems often occur after reticulation systems are installed. Often there are delays in building and hence exposes the reticulation system to damage to other trades being on site. This isn't necessarily always the fault of tradesmen on site, as they are usually not expecting a reticulation system being buried around the perimeter of the building. It's important to have good communication with the builder and tradesmen on site and also to keep a watchful eye on reticulation to ensure its safe after installation. That being said, reticulation is a great termite control method if it's done correctly!

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This reticulation system was treated quite unkindly by builders/tradesmen!

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This reticulation system has not been considered by tradesmen on site.

Look out when building!

Concrete slabs form an important part of termite management nowadays, with slabs being used as termite barriers as they are considered termite resistant (if poured in accord with AS2870) the only potential problem is where pipes or other materials penetrate the slab. Whilst things such as plumbing and electrical conduits are easy to locate and treat, sometimes there are  building practices that inadvertently create penetrations through the slab, such as when putting in temporary formwork during construction of slabs, as demonstrated by these photos.

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Reo bar used to peg out the step down in wet areas of this slab were left in place, creating a termite highway!

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It is important to check all potential entry points by ensuring no penetrations through the slab are left untreated.