Minimising the risks and consequences of termite attack

For all architects and builders involved in commercial construction, it is valuable to understand the risks and consequences of termite attack, and the best mitigation options. Projects such as schools and hospitals, apartments and retail precincts require significant investment and demand true termite protection.

“Our Termimesh System is about risk mitigation for commercial builders and architects, and their clients. The specification of our stainless steel  barrier, installed by trained experts and delivering integrity over time, without any need for chemicals, has been proven on major projects in Australian and internationally.” - James Damianopoulos - TMA Corporation Director and COO

 

Risks and Costs

Termites are active across all parts of Australia and damage by termite attack is always a risk for residential homes and commercial construction projects.

Surveys show that termite damage is caused to around 34,000 homes annually with an average repair bill of $10,000.

Data for commercial buildings is harder to find, possibly because building owners do not want to make termite damage public knowledge. We believe it is reasonable to assume that costs increase dramatically when termites attack commercial properties.

It is also good to understand that standard insurance policies do not cover termite damage.

 

Financial Consequences

In cities around the world, the cost of termite damage is estimated at US $22 billion a year.

More information is available on the costs of termite damage to residential properties, giving good context to the potential risks and cost for all property types, including commercial facilities.

These figures on the costs of termite attack for Australian home owners are surprising:

7.2 million      Households in Australia

650,000         Estimated number affected by termites

130,000         Estimated number of new attacks per annum

$10,000         Average rectification cost

$650 million   Estimated annual cost per annum

“The architects and builders who work on commercial projects should have access to the best information, and have a true understanding of their options when it comes to minimising risk and protection from termite attack. Our system is all about the help we give, from specification, to effective onsite installation.” - Anthony D’Amico - Termi Home & Commercial Operations Manager, Perth WA

Around 10% - 20% of Australian houses have been, or will be, subject to termite infestation over the life of the building. In regions where risks are higher, like South East Queensland, the figure goes up to 65% with an associated cost of $4 billion a year.

In 1999/2000, the Queensland Department of Housing spent $410,000 on termite infestation management in public housing with repairs to fix termite damage costing approximately $18,000 - $60,000 per property.

On average, residential termite infestations cost approximately $1500 to treat, and $10,000 per building to repair.

 

Termites

Termites do help soil ecosystems by improving soil pH, organic carbon content, water content and porosity by cycling dead organics. They do however, have a negative impact when they access homes, properties and commercial facilities.

Often, termites are highly active as soon as they enter a property, and usually go undetected so the damage is often not found until it is far advanced. Around the world, the annual economic cost of termite damage and prevention measures is estimated in the billions.

This is where we find the risks to the architects, builders and investors in large scale, high value projects. The costs of termites are already significant in residential properties, and they increase dramatically in line with the greater scale of commercial sites.

 

Construction Methods

There is no construction method that can guarantee protection from termites, because they can penetrate properties built with treated timber and steel frames.

A strong specification should be submitted for the installation of proven and expertly installed termite protection during construction. The concept of a physical barrier is simple, but installation can be highly technical. Construction methods are complex and multiple variables and unique challenges are common on commercial projects.

To deliver an effective termite management system understanding commercial construction environments is crucial. Our people are highly experienced at working onsite alongside commercial builders and trades and one of the biggest protection advantages we offer is installation by trained and experienced people.

Talk to us today, we’re here to help commercial architects and builders to protect their projects and reputation.

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