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Green Smart Magazine : GreenSmart 2010
mesh barrier system which termites can't eat or squeeze through, even though termites can squeeze through gaps as small as 1mm. With a proven track record -- the company has successfully installed more than 280,000 systems nationwide in the past 18 years -- Termimesh attributes its effectiveness against termites to the quality of the materials used, as well as their installation techniques and on-site ser vice. Chemical barriers can be used in both new or existing buildings, but it is important to choose one that will have minimal effect on the surrounding environment. Any chemical barrier treatment method should be non-hazardous and registered by the National Registration Authority. Some termite barriers are both physical and chemical and so provide a double whammy. For instance HomeGuard provides a system designed to prevent concealed entry of subterranean termites into a building, but which also kills and repels termites on contact. The product's active ingredient, bifenthrin, is impregnated into a single-sheet polymer barrier, which is evenly distributed throughout the sheet. This system is installed pre-construction and is sealed permanently in a new home's foundations. This method differs from traditional method of liquid termite applications, which drench the soil around a structure and need to be reapplied over time. Importantly, HomeGuard is registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) -- making it safe to use and environmentally friendly -- has Codemark quality assurance accreditation, and is an HIA GreenSmart partner. You can also find a range of pre- and post-construction systems through Rentokil. It offers reticulation, physical and chemical barrier pre-construction systems; and reticulation and chemical barrier systems, baiting services and inspection and monitoring for post-construction. As well, Rentokil offers something that most others won't -- insurance. A structural home timber replacement warranty up to the value of $500,000, this insurance can be transferred to a new owner at any time should you sell your home. To qualify, you need to have had two consecutive 'clear' termite inspections or a Rentokil termite treatment, including a pre-construction barrier. Conditions apply, and unfortunately the warranty is not available in NT or Queensland. gs For more information: Rentokil www.rentokil.com.au. Termimesh www.termimesh.com.au. HomeGuard www.homeguardptm.com.au. • Look for tell-tale mud 'galleries' (tubes built from dirt and other materials) in the subfloor area, foundations, skirting boards, cornices, mouldings and roof timbers of your home. Bits of dried mud falling from joints in walls when tapped are also a sign of termite infestation. • Look for soft floorboards, bulging, staining or rippling of painted timbers. Termites can remain undetected because they either tunnel underground or eat timbers from the inside out, often leaving just sheets of paint that had coated the timber. • Listen for them: some species make a 'clicking' noise which can be heard at night. • Have any barrier system inspected regularly. Without regular inspections, termites can remain undetected for as long as two years, and do a lot of damage in that time. Experts recommend yearly inspections, or more often in high-risk areas. • Keep subfloors dry and well-ventilated. Damp environments and decaying timbers are an open invitation for termites. • Don't stack timber debris under verandahs or place garden mulch against external walls. termite trouble RIGHT: Physical barriers such as Termimesh should be installed at the time of construction Photo courtesy Termimesh greensmart 2010 67