Buying a home is often one of the biggest investments that most people will make in their lifetime. Termites - if left unchecked - could potentially ruin your hard-earned home due to their voracious appetite for common household materials including plastics, rubber, fibreglass and, of course, wood. An infestation of termites will make quick work of many things in and around your home such as house frames, wall linings, plaster boards, cupboards, skirtings, windows and door frames, carpets, plastic coating on electrical wiring, gardens, books, artwork, clothing and paper. Basically, they will eat almost anything unless you take steps to protect your home from them. Don't wait until the problem has already started, act now and follow some of these tips to ensure the best protection for your home.
Create a Barrier
The best way to have a comprehensive and secure system for keeping termites away from your home is by creating some sort of barrier that termites can't easily overcome. Barriers come in two forms: Chemical and physical. Chemical barriers must be installed during construction as they must be applied to the ground underneath the foundation of the home and around it's perimeter. Chemicals generally only have a lifespan of up to 10 years, so you and the builder need to come up with a plan for periodic re-treatment through an above ground treatment system that also must be installed before the home is built. Physical barriers basically act to separate your home from where termites nest and either stop them from coming into your home, or force them to come above ground to where you can see them. These barriers are generally made up of materials such as granite or stainless steel, and are installed around the perimeter of a home as it is being built.
Don't Tempt Them
Have a good look at your yard and pay particular attention to the amount of wood material you have laying around. Dead or decaying wood scraps or rotting garden fencing attracts termites and acts as a conduit for them to get to your home. You can avoid potential problems simply by keeping your yard free of decaying wood, making sure there is no wood near the house - such as firewood - and by using Colourbond fencing instead of real wood.
Termite Proof Landscaping
There are many ways that the landscape design of your home can help prevent termite attacks. The most important thing is to avoid building gardens alongside your home, as not only does this provide a convenient breeding ground for the termites, but also the constant watering of the garden can render your chemical barrier ineffective in a short period of time. If you must have a garden close to your home, try to have an 18-inch barrier between it and the house foundation. Additionally, by making the gradient of your yard slope downwards away from your home you can reduce standing water in your soil, effectively eliminating prime termite breeding ground from which they could attack on your home.
To make sure you are winning the battle against termites, it's a good idea to have your home inspected regularly. There is something to be said for prevention and early warning signs when it comes to termites; by the time you notice them in your home, it means there are probably millions of them already there.