Timber Pest Inspection Protocol by Dunrite
Inspection of the Interior areas: where appropriate:
Visually inspect and test interior walls, ceilings, partitions, stairways, flooring, skirting boards, cupboards and timbers around windows and doors.
Visually inspect and test all timbers adjacent to plumbing or plumbing fixtures and around pipes penetration through slab-on-ground construction.
Visually inspect in and around fire places from floor to ceiling. Masonry absorbs moisture and fire places often contain voids for subterranean termite nests.
Visually inspect slab-on-ground floors. Note evidence of ‘drill marks’ indicating that a possible termite treatment was carried out to the premises in the past. Look for cracks in any of the exposed sections of the slab as these areas may be considered as possible entry points for subterranean termites.
Visually inspect and test any other susceptible areas or timber.
Note: Look for signs of termite attack where there is the presence of timber floors over concrete slabs. These are critical areas for termite activity and can be difficult to see. Also note details and locations of excessive moisture, such as water stains on roof linings, leaking plumbing, fungal growth, e.g. mould, dampness and discoloration of walls.
Where moisture is located, the technician is required to note these areas as a point of interest. If the source of moisture can be located, there will be a recommendation to address the source, resulting in further moisture being abated. Moisture points are generally located around ‘wet area’ such as walls against a shower cubical, ensuite cubical, toilet, or laundry. The next step is to investigate the points of interest with a Termatrac – microwave tracking system (using microwave technology to pick up movement beyond the surface of these points of interest.) Moisture and movement can be attributed, but not limited to subterranean termite activity. If movement is indicated on the Termatac monitor, a recommendation for further investigation is to be given. Further investigation of movement behind a surface is an intrusive inspection.
Destructive Tests/Invasive Inspection:
Before performing any destructive tests or an invasive inspection. E.g. the drilling of holes or the cutting of access traps, the consultant must seek the permission of the building owner, in writing. Such work should not be carried without the written permission of the authorized agent or the owner.
When the internal inspection has been completed, the technician needs to return this equipment to the vehicle. The next step in the inspection process will be the roof void, cavity or attic. The equipment required to carryout a roof inspection will be a ladder, torch, knee pads, screw driver and dated business cards (2). For comfort, and ice vest or ice collar is recommend for roof inspections on hot days. Although shoes should be removed before entering a dwelling, they will be required when in the roof.
Inspection of the roof space: where appropriate.
Once you have secured the ladder beneath the access whole check your torch to see it’s operable and the business cards have the correct date written on them.
Visually inspect and test all accessible timbers in roof. E.g. roof truss members, roof framing, including rafters, ceiling joists, ridge boards and roof extremities.
Note: Record details of any Notice of Treatment for subterranean termites at the entrance to the roof space. Note any areas that do not allow access or may impede vision for inspection. i.e.: under insulation, ducting and roof extremities.
Visually inspect and test timber members adjacent to the fireplace chimney. Note evidence of excessive moisture around the chimney flashing.
Visually inspect and test top wall plates and accessible roof/wall juncture (eaves) timbers.
Visually inspect the roof lining, around air conditioning units, ducting and water heaters.
Visually inspect and test any other susceptible areas or timber.
While doing the inspection you will place a business card (with the date) at the points furtherest from the access hole. (this will show a third party the inspection has extended to these areas).
Note: signs of termite attack or excessive moisture, and any condition conducive to termite attack.
Once the technician has finished inspecting the roof space, he then returns the equipment to the vehicle. The next stage of the inspection may be the sub-floor. Knee pads, torch and screwdriver may be needed for this. Where the sub-floor is damp, a respirator is to be worn to combat fungi spores.
Subfloor Spaces: where appropriate.
Note: Before inspecting any sub floor areas, check for a notice of subterranean termite treatment at the entrance of the sub floor space. Sprayed sub floor areas should not be inspected without suitable protective clothing and apparatus such as a replaceable cartridge respirator. In any event, sprayed sub floor areas should not be inspected unless it is safe to do so.
Visually inspect all sub floor areas, such as foundations walls, piers behind plumbing, air/heat ducts, under loose timbers, builder’s debris and stored materials. Test suspicious timbers with screw driver.
Note: Record details of any Notice of Treatment for subterranean termites at the entrance to be sub floor space.
Visually inspect and test timber members, such as bottom wall plates where accessible, bearers, joists and the underside of flooring, and all other timbers especially those close to plumbing.
Visually inspect and test all timber members in contact with the soil, such as stumps, posts and formwork, or any other cellulose containing material.
Visually inspect and test soil around piers and foundation walls for moisture and subterranean termites.
Note: If the sub floor has been sprayed for subterranean termites, special care should be taken not to disturb the treated soil in contact with the building structure.
Visually inspect any electrical junction boxes and conduits for evidence of subterranean termite mud-packing or shelter tubes. Under no circumstances are electrical junction boxes or conduits to be physically inspected.
Note: Safety: caution should be exercised when inspection any part of an electrical installation.
Visually inspect and test any other susceptible areas or timbers.
Note: Signs of termite attack, earth-wood and damp masonry-wood contact, excessive moisture, bridging or breeching of a barrier system, whether cross-flow ventilation is adequate, and any other condition conducive to termite attack.
When the technician has completed the inspection of the sub floor space and returns all tools to the vehicle, he then proceeds with the inspection of the:
External Areas: where appropriate.
Visually inspect eaves, wall beading, fixtures, windows, door frames and exterior walls including the backs of rainwater and vent pipes – note details of ventilators or weep holes which may provide termite access into the wall cavities or wall framing timbers. Also note signs of activity or excessive/pooling moisture, such as defective drainage, plugged or damaged gutters and inadequate moisture sealing.
Note: In case of infill slab/slab-on-ground, spilt level and elevated floor construction, check the meter box for any Notice of Treatment for subterranean termites. Record details.
Visually inspect slab edges including any cracks and expansion joints. Note evidence of insufficient slab edge exposure.
Note: Check the meter box for any other subterranean termite notices including perimeter treatments or chemical barriers in the soil such as support posts or decks.
Visually inspect and test:
- Timber members that rest on or extend into concrete, masonry or soil such as support posts on decks.
- Stairways, decks, handrails and external joinery in general.
- Rafters, such as carport or garage that protrude from the roof area.
- Landscaping timbers, fences, logs, pool surroundings, garden boxes and tube, fore wood, paving blocks and sleepers.
- Any other susceptible areas or timbers.
Visually inspect trees and tree stumps. Note details of any termite nests found.
Visually inspect paths and driveways abutting the building. Note evidence of drill marks indicating that a possible termite treatment was carried out to the property in the past. Note if concrete abutting the building is concealing vent or weep holes, partially or completely.
Note: Signs of termite attack, earth-wood and masonry-wood contact, excessive moisture, bridging or breeching of a barrier system, insufficient slab edge exposure, and any other condition conducive to termite attack. I.e. hot water system overflow and air conditioner condensation outlets.
Once the report has been completed, you can then notify the client of your findings. Let them know what species if any were found and where. The extent of any infestation and the potential to cause damage should be clearly explained, and location of any nests found. Treatment options can be explained to eradicate the current infestation and protect the house from any further attack. Following that you will give them a brief out line of the preferred treatment and the warranty, it terms and conditions. e.g. How long the warranty is for, what Dunrite will do if they were to gain entry into the premises during the warranty period etc. A quotation may be given at the time, or an appointment can be made for a quotation to be done.
Note: After discovery of an active infestation, it is imperative that the species of termite is accurately identified before costly (and sometimes unnecessary or inappropriate) methods of treatment are initiated. Only economically important species which are known to attack timber structures should be treated.
Frequency of future Inspections: (Advise Client)
Australia Standard As3660 recognizes that regular inspections will not prevent termite attack, but may help in the detection of termite activity. Early detection will allow a remedial treatment to be commenced sooner and damage to be minimized.
Inspections at intervals not exceeding 6 months are recommended, unless a current preventative is in place. Where the termite risk is high or the building type susceptible to termite attack, more frequent inspections (3-6 months) should be taken.
Treatment of active subterranean termites in the house/dwelling:
Where active subterranean termites are found in a house, the tracking is followed to a point of entry where possible. The tracking is also followed to the ends of the workings. This will give an accurate estimation to the level and extent of the infestation.
The level of infestation having been established, there is a requirement to treat that which is active. The treatment should be done with the least amount disturbance to the subterranean termites as possible. A foaming agent/dust termiticide is injected into and on the active tracking. This will allow contamination among the termite population without immediately killing them. The termiticide is Termidor, a non deterrent formulation that is not detected by the termite and allows further interaction between termites to optimize its effect.
After the application of the foam/dust termiticide, the treated sites should be left for a period of 20 – 30 days before being disturbed. A follow up inspection needs to be done before any repairs are affected.
A follow up inspection is done to all areas previously affected and to adjoining walls to guarantee there has been a successful conclusion to the initial treatment.
There is no warranty on this treatment as a standalone treatment. A free service warranty becomes realized at the time of the installation of a chemical subterranean termite management system. (STMS)