Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula Termite Fact Sheet
Termite Fact Sheet and Compliance Methods for New Builds
PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS FROM SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES
Long before your first termite inspection, ‘All Pests’ is there helping you with termite prevention.
Following the amalgamation of the former Shires of Mornington, Hastings, Flinders and part of Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula Shire determined that the entire municipality be designated pursuant to the Building Regulations 2006, Regulation 803 as land in which buildings are likely to be subject to infestation by termites. This means that any building, except a detached class 10 building (i.e. garage, carport, non-habitable outbuilding), must have its structural members protected against infestation by termites in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3660.1-2000.
EFFECTIVE TERMITE CONTROL
The Australian Standard describes several forms of compliance:
1. Concrete slab
2. Chemical Spray
3. Stainless steel mesh and sheet materials. These materials are generally designed to force any termite activity (especially within the internal cavities of the masonry) to the outer edges of the barrier where regular inspection may detect any termite galleries that may bridge around the barrier.
4. Graded stone particles (granite chips)
Each termite protection method listed in AS 3660.1 must be considered as part of a system and its overall effectiveness will depend upon the following three main elements functioning correctly:
1. Correct installation of the barrier.
2. Regular competent inspection of the barrier, i.e. every 3-6 months.
3. Adequate maintenance of the barrier including, ensuring that any landscaping, paving, alterations etc. do not compromise the barrier.
Notice of installed termite system
A durable notice must be permanently fixed to the building in a prominent location, such as a meter box or similar. It must indicate:
- the method of protection
- the date of installation of the system
- where a chemical is used, its life expectancy as listed on the National Registration Authority (NRA) label
- advice that there is a need to maintain and inspect the system on a regular basis.
Slab On Ground Construction
Section 4 applies to a concrete slab, designed and constructed in accordance with AS 3600 or AS 2870 to form part of an acceptable termite barrier. A slab which does not conform to these Australian Standards cannot be used as a barrier. Penetrations through the slab are required to be protected either by chemical spray or a physical barrier such as stainless steel mesh.
Suspended Floor Construction
AS 3660.1-2000, Section 3 includes requirements for access to facilitate ongoing inspection and maintenance and to reduce the likelihood of excessive moisture build up which is conducive to termite activity. A minimum clearance of 400 mm between finished ground level and the underside of structural elements is required. A reduced clearance of 150 mm is permitted for the first 2 metres on sloping sites. Openings of 7,300mm² per lineal metre are required for both internal and external subfloor walls, in accordance with BCA Part 3. It is essential that provision of subfloor ventilation does not compromise the termite barriers. This will also necessitate the use of ant caps and termite shielding.
Chemical Soil Barriers
A barrier formed by the placing of a termite resistant chemical. This method can only be carried out by specialist commercial contractors. The chemical must be approved by the NRA for use as a termiticide. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority http://www.apvma.gov.au/ has registered chemicals for use for hand spraying applications and for use with reticulation systems.
Stainless Steel Mesh
A durable material resembling fly wire in appearance with an appropriate mesh aperture size that will not allow specific species of termites to work their way through. The mesh creates a barrier and/or forces termites out to the outer edges of the mesh where they can be readily detected. This method can only be carried out by specialist commercial contractors.
A durable termite resistant material is used to form barriers. Materials suitable for termite shields include:
- Galvanised iron sheet, minimum thickness 0.5mm
- Sheet copper, quarter hard, minimum thickness 0.4mm
- Stainless steel sheet, half hard, minimum thickness 0.4mm
- Alloys of copper and zinc sheet, minimum thickness, 0.5mm
- Aluminium alloy sheet, minimum thickness 0.5mm
- Stainless steel mesh of a size appropriate to the species
A barrier formed by placing termite resistant particles of stone that are graded, shaped and of a size that cannot be transported by foraging termite species occurring in the area. Particles are placed in such a manner that voids between the particles do not permit penetration by foraging termites. This method can only be carried out by specialist commercial contractors.