Case Study: Termites in a rental property

    
Termite damage found in the original floor boards

Termite damage found in the original floor boards

The home we speak of is a solid brick house built between 1940 and 1950. It has some beautiful features like solid timber floors and ceiling roses that Martin, the owner of the home, hates because they are a pain to paint.

Martin bought the property 13 years ago as an investment. Before he purchased the home he had a pre-purchase timber pest inspection that said there were no sign of termites. What we found interesting when we first received the “help! I have termites!” call is that there was no access to the sub-floor. **FIRST WARNING SIGN** There had been no inspection for termites underneath the home in at least 13 years!

A few weeks ago, Martin started what he though were going to be some minor renovations. As he pulled away a windowsill that had had some dry rot damage (SECOND WARNING SIGN!) the whole sill came away in his hands. As he pulled the gyprock off the wall, he found the entire wall full of horrendous termite damage.

What is the first step in treating termites?

We conducted a full termite inspection to determine the extent of the damage and find where the termites came from. This required access holes being cut into the sub-floor. What we found was a second timber floor underneath that had extensive termite damage. In the actual sub-floor we found termite leads coming up from the dirt, allowing the termites direct access to the floor joist.

How do you get rid of the termites?

We’ve commenced an eradication program that will get rid of the termites in the home and their nest that is somewhere close by. Once that program is complete (which will take around 2 months), we’ll be laying down chemical termite barrier that will prevent termites from entering the home again.

How much damage did the termites cause?

The damage to the timber floor spanned between 6-8m in the living room / kitchen and around 3m in the front hallway. This is in addition to the damage that spans the whole back wall.

Martin is a carpenter so will be fixing the damage himself. He’ll need to pull up both floors and relay them with new flood boards. He’ll also need to rebuild the back wall.

He estimates the cost will be approximately $25,000 in materials alone. Martin is lucky enough to have the skills to do the work himself so he doesn’t need to pay for the labour to fix the damage.

How can I prevent termites in my home?

An annual termite inspection is essential. Call 1300 805 087 now to book yours in.

There are also things you can do around the home that will make it less attractive to termites. Check out our interactive home walk-through at: rentokil.com.au/whymyhome. Here you’ll find what attracts termites to your home and how to prevent it.

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