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The True Cost of Termites for Australian Home Owners

  • By Tim Flinders
  • 15 Jun, 2017
Termites are one of the largest threats to residential properties throughout Australia. Experts estimate that two of every three homes will have a termite problem at one point and that one in every three homes currently has termites.

This high attack rate means that termite infestation is one of the most overall costly problems facing Australian home owners. In 2012, reports showed that termite damage repair and removal costs averaged 1.5 billion dollars each year.

If you live in Queensland specifically, your home is considered to be at extreme risk for termite infestation.

In this blog, we discuss the primary types of costs that termite damage can have.

Cosmetic Repairs

As termite infestations progress, they can do visible damage that creates serious eyesores in your home. Termite infestations may affect drywall, plaster and lath, hardwood floors, siding and other building materials.

In addition to dealing with the infestation itself and any repairs necessary to ensure that your home is safe and habitable, which we'll discuss in the final two sections, you may also need to perform cosmetic repairs.

Cosmetic repairs range wildly in cost because the value of the damage depends on which materials it affects. For example, you can handle localised drywall repairs at a fairly low cost. You may even be able to do drywall work yourself without hiring a contractor.

However, if termites damage a large section of your hardwood floors, you'll not only have to pay for the cost of the materials, but also for the labour required to restore the flooring.

Resale Value Changes

A single termite infestation can have lasting impact on the market value of your home. An Australian study performed in 2015 showed that a previous termite problem could reduce the value of a home by as much as 25%.

The survey also reported that buyers expect homes with past termite problems to be priced significantly lower than comparative properties.

Even if an infestation doesn't have quite as devastating of an effect on your property value, 99% of home purchases include an inspection that would reveal any termite problems. The 2015 survey reported that almost 75% of potential buyers would not buy a home they were interested in if termites showed up in the inspection.

Structural Repairs

Because termite damage primarily affects wood structures, an infestation can weaken the framing and supports that keep your home intact. In order to repair this damage, a contractor must evaluate the extent of the damage, pull up flooring or tear down walls to access the supports and replace the damaged beams.

Structural repairs can cost individual home owners thousands of dollars and take significant periods of time to complete.

Treatment and Prevention

When an infestation is identified, the first priority before dealing with any of the costs listed above is to treat the infestation and prevent further damage. The ideal treatment for your home may depend on how advanced the infestation is.

In some cases, a spray, dusting or foaming treatment that targets live insects will eliminate the problem. However, this small-scale solution only works on new or highly localised infestations.

Otherwise, the entire house may need treatment. Additionally, you may need to maintain a termite barrier treatment to prevent reoccurring infestations. These barriers can last as long as eight years, but must be renewed on time to seamlessly protect your home.

If you think that your home is at high risk for termites or has already developed termites, contact the team at Expect the Best Pty Ltd. We perform thorough termite inspections to give you the information you need to make informed decisions about the future of your home.

Why is my home attracting Termites?

By Tim Flinders 15 Jun, 2017
Termites are one of the largest threats to residential properties throughout Australia. Experts estimate that two of every three homes will have a termite problem at one point and that one in every three homes currently has termites.

This high attack rate means that termite infestation is one of the most overall costly problems facing Australian home owners. In 2012, reports showed that termite damage repair and removal costs averaged 1.5 billion dollars each year.

If you live in Queensland specifically, your home is considered to be at extreme risk for termite infestation.

In this blog, we discuss the primary types of costs that termite damage can have.
By Tonya Davis 09 Jun, 2017
Termites are surprisingly common in Australia, but many homeowners don’t worry too much about them, thinking that they aren’t that much of a threat. However, you may not realize just how much money they could cost you.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to termites. Learn how likely you are to get an infestation, the true costs of damage and what you can do to prevent problems.
By Tonya Davis 21 Mar, 2017

Our weather conditions here on the Sunshine Coast make our climate one of the most inviting to termites. Because the Sunshine Coast has high humidity, high temperatures and no real cold snaps, the termite activity and numerous destructive species here mean that we have to be on the lookout for termite trouble all year round.

Termites are perhaps the most secretive and destructive type of insect that commonly infests homes. Termites primarily live, travel and eat through the inner layers of timber, so they can be difficult to spot.

In this blog, we list seven warning signs that may actually be visible in your home.

1. Mud Trails

While termites spend most of their lives inside wooden structures, they may create entrances and exits that are sometimes visible to the human eye. You may observe mud trails (termite galleries) at times, but more often, live termites will conceal themselves in the structural timbers of wall cavities or below ground level.

2. Hollow Timber

When termites eat timber, they may consume the inner layers of the wood without damaging the outermost layer. If you suspect that your home may have termites, lightly tap the suspect timbers with a solid object.

Hollow timber will sound empty and create a dull thudding noise. Taps on termite-damaged wood will sound different than taps on any other wooden surface in your home.

3. Insect Swarms

If you notice swarms of what look like flying ants around light fixtures in your home, these winged insects may actually be termites (alates). A swarm of alates indicates that a termite colony has matured and some of the insects are leaving to establish new termite nests.

Swarms are most likely to occur during damp or humid conditions. If you can, catch one of these insects for a professional termite identification. Termites look distinctly different from other common flying insects like ants and beetles.

For example, termites tend to be a lighter color than other common insects and have no discernible 'waist', unlike most ant species.

The termites that you may see swarming are the insects in the colony capable of reproduction. When these swarms leave an established colony to find a new place to settle, they intentionally shed their wings upon landing since they will no longer need to fly.

You may notice piles of insect wings around your interior or exterior walls if your home has become newly infested by a colony of termites.

4. Paint Damage

If you have a termite infestation, the termite activities may become visible due to paint warping. Specifically, you may notice that your paint begins to look malformed, bumpy or stained or to feel spongy when touched.

This malformation occurs when the wood underneath the paint has been consumed or weakened to the point that the timber no longer supports the shape of the paint.

5. Pinpoint Holes

When termites have built up in sufficient numbers behind your wall linings, you may see pinpoint holes on the wall surface. These holes are usually blocked up with termite muddings on closer inspection.

6. Sagging Floors

One of the most significant threats of a termite infestation is that the damage will affect a home's structural stability. If you have termites in your flooring or subfloor for a long period of time, your walking surface may change dramatically.

You may observe sagging, sponging, creaking and crumbling in the affected areas.

7. Cracked or Warped Wall Linings

The presence of cracked or warped walls or ceilings may be an indication that the structural integrity of your home has been compromised.

If you notice any combination of these termite warning signs, schedule a termite inspection  as soon as possible. 
By Expect the Best 22 Dec, 2016

They destroyed a house in Buderim, see our last post

By Expect the Best 21 Dec, 2016

Termites turn roof timbers to sawdust: Termite expert Ben Herbert reveals extensive damage in the roof of a Sunshine Coast home. 

IF YOU thought the revelation this week a Buderim home was declared uninhabitable because of termite damage was an isolated incident - you would be wrong.

Sunshine Coast pest inspector Ben Herbert, from Expect the Best termite experts, said he was called out all the time.

"Once, every couple of months, a home on the Sunshine Coast is declared uninhabitable," Mr Herbert said.

Most, thankfully, can be rescued without knocking the entire home down, but it comes at a considerable cost.

Mr Herbert sent through a video of a pest inspection in a roof cavity. At first glance it looked perfectly normal.

But a gentle tap from Mr Herbert and the wooden truss holding the roof up crumbled like a piece of dry bread.

"It's been a very long season this year, mostly because it has been so warm," Mr Herbert said.

"When I talk to other pest controllers on the Sunshine Coast, they are also very busy."

Mr Herbert said most people - as in the case of the 12 Raintrees Ct, Buderim home owners - are blissfully unaware their most valuable asset is being destroyed bite by bite.

"In less than 5% of cases there is evidence of termite activity where they will come out into open views," he said.

"Mostly it happens underground. That is why brick veneer homes on a concrete slab are so vulnerable. You can't go underneath and see what is going on."

And if you can hear them, you know you are in deep trouble.

"Occasionally can hear them, when they have built up in large numbers the soldiers in it bang their heads on the side of units and that makes a rattle."

Mr Herbert said it only happened "once every year or couple of years" that he saw a home that had to be demolished.

This week along he has had three "active" termite calls.

Source:  http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/watch-coast-roof-crumbles-from-termite-damage/3042127/

By Website Team Technicians 15 Dec, 2016

Termites are a perennial problem for many Australian homeowners. Sunshine Coast homes are particularly vulnerable to termite attacks due to our warm climate and the high population of subterranean termites along the state's coast, but any home built from timber is at risk of termite infestation. However, some homes seem to suffer from more frequent attacks than others.

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