City Councils Don’t Seem to Care About Termites

We all know it’s tough getting into the Australian property market, with prices skyrocketing and experts claiming that the inner city of Melbourne is practically impossible to buy in for first Home buyers. This combined with large scale gentrification in lower-socio-economic areas such as the inner west, leads to a rapidly snowballing market that will make it nearly  impossible to buy anywhere within 20 kilometres of the city in the near future.

If you are one of the lucky people who is able to invest in a nice little property or even if you were thinking about buying soon, then please head our warning.  Prior to purchasing make sure you complete your due diligence and always ensure you have a Termite Inspection before you purchase.   Always engage a Termite, Timber Pest Expert, so you are getting an accurate assessment of Termite activity and risk.  These Inspections are designed to give Home Buyers a report of any history of Termite attack in a potential property, as well as a Report on the risk of Termite attack.  There are many variables that increase risk of Termite attack, so all these factors are assessed.

Termite Damage

One of the ten Footscray Townhouses Attacked by Termites, Because they were never received Termite protection

Termite Mud Damage
Huge Amounts of Termite mudding removed from Unprotected Kensington Townhouse

We would normally expect our local City Councils to be an accurate source of data on geographical Termite Risk.  In most cases they are, however in the case of a few EG. Maribyrnong City Council, Stonnington City Council etc. they are failing to pass on the very real risk of Termite attack in their Municipality.  Currently, there is an outdated ‘Declared’ or ‘Non-Declared’ zoning that rates the Termite risk of Municipalities/City Councils across Melbourne.  This Classification not only guides Home Buyers on risk rating of a specific City Council, but also determines whether Builders are required to install Termite protection to new structures within that area.  If construction is in a ‘Declared’ Zone new construction within that zone is compulsorily required to have some form of Termite protection installed during Construction Phase, which is ideal.  This translates to a set of standards Builders must adhere to (AS3660.1 or .3).  Sadly and inaccurately City Councils that are ‘Non Declared’ do not require Termite protection to any new Construction.  This system is worryingly inaccurate and has resulted in Builders not Termite protecting new structures, houses or buildings in these areas.  The Lack of Termite protection leaves new structures, defined as new housing, renovations, buildings or specifically any newly constructed structure vulnerable to Termite attack.

We have seen the result of this misinformation, for example a recent case of ten townhouses in Footscray were never Termite protected, as LOCAL City Council did not require the Builder to install Termite protection.  Consequently they now have extensive Termite damage to structural as well as dress Timbers.  The Termite Treatment, as well as repairs will be in the tens of thousands per Townhouse.  This situation could have been avoided if Termite protection had been installed.

There are numerous examples of this, however another example, Homeowner spends a large amount of money extensively renovating a Victorian Terrace in Kensington, there are no regulations in the Plans or Compliance required by City Council to Install Termite protection, so Builder does not Termite protect Extension or Property.  The property is subsequently attacked by Termites, Costing the Owner Tens of thousands of dollars in Treatment and Repairs.

As an Industry of Termite experts we now would like to educate the general public directly about the risks of Termite attack.  Only part of this risk is geography, other risk factors are to do with environment eg. Health of nearby Trees, maintenance of House, Availability of Timber in ground contact eg. Timber Retaining Walls, Fencing etc. Proximity to Parks, Rivers, Water Leaks, Moisture Build up or Poor Ventilation in Sub Floor.  The variables are wide and varied.  Therefore, our advice is consistent regardless of geographical area.  Always consult a professional Termite Expert when purchasing or Building/Renovating.

Termite Activity in Townhouse
One of the ten Footscray Townhouses Attacked by Termites, Because they were never received Termite protection

Termite Activity on ceiling
One of the ten Footscray Townhouses Attacked by Termites, Because they were never received Termite protection

If you are planning on purchasing property, building or renovating then you need to seek advice from a Termite professional.  When purchasing a Termite Expert will be able to thoroughly assess property and provide a detailed report giving you an understanding of any current Termite activity, as well as any history of Termite attack and a Risk assessment.  Good Operators should be able to provide Free Advice around your risks when purchasing or Building and can consult with you on, minimising your Risk and protecting your Home.  Are you planning on purchasing a new property?   Whatever it is, Noah’s Ark Pest Control can provide advice.  Our Team are Termite experts and are Members of our Industry Body, Aepma.com.au , in fact our Operations manager, Emma Mendelsohn is Vic-Chair of AEPMA VIC .  Our Team will be happy to assist, please call , Ph: 9372 2670.

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