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BUSHFIRE AND PEST PROTECTION IN ONE

Weep holes are an entry point for many pests including mice, spiders, cockroaches, wasps and bees. In addition, protecting weep holes from ember attack is a requirement for new constructions in bushfire prone areas. Learn more about the Protector Weep Hole Protector screen and how it can provide pest and bushfire protection for homeowners.

“Is your home bushfire ready?” It’s a common public service announcement at the start of every bushfire season. Pest managers can now do their bit to help their customers protect their home from bushfire, as well as pests, with the Protector Weep Hole Screen from Weepa.

Following some of the major bushfire disasters in Australia over the last 20 years, the various inquiries have increased our understanding of bushfire behaviour. In the Canberra firestorm of 2003, where 500 mainly urban homes and four lives were lost, the evidence indicated that 50% of the homes destroyed “in the suburbs came from ember attack directly out of the neighbouring forests.” Furthermore, CSIRO research “showed that houses with vents that were not protected by a metal mesh with holes smaller that 2 mm were more likely to be destroyed during a bushfire.”

As a result of these findings, building specifications for homes in bushfire areas are quite specific and detailed in Australian Standard AS3959:2018 – Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone areas. This includes the requirement for weep holes to be protected from ember attack. Furthermore, all areas of Australia have a bushfire risk rating which determines the level of protection required by new constructions in each area. These Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) are referenced in NCC:2019 Australian Building Code and published as AS3959:2018.

This standard certainly benefits the owners of new buildings, but how do owners of older homes prevent entry of embers through their weepholes, thus protecting their home from possible ember attack?

Weepa has developed a stainless steel protector, the Protector Weep Hole Screen, which can be retrofitted to existing buildings to prevent ember attack through weep holes.

Inserting Weepa Protector
The Protector is easily inserted with the supplied applicator
Weepa Protector Weep Hole Screen
The stainless steel protector provides a solid barrier to a wide range of pests and is certified compliant to the requirements of all Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL)

Developing such a product is not so straightforward. Yes, it needs to prevent embers entering the weephole, but of course it mustn’t stop the weephole meeting its normal function – to allow moisture out and air in.

Australian Standard AS3959:2018 specifies the materials and design of construction elements in order to comply with the standard. The Protector Weep Hole Screen meets the highest level of bushfire protection and is compliant with all Bushfire Attack Levels: BAL-LOW, BAL-12.5, BAL19, BAL29, BAL-40 and BAL-FZ.

Weepa also carries out rigorous airflow and drainage assessments of all its products, something not all manufacturers do. Independent testing by Griffith University demonstrated that Weepa products do not significantly impact airflow and allow water to drain freely.

Of course, as pest managers will know, weep holes are a common entry point for many pests: mice, spiders, cockroaches, bees and wasps. The Protector Weep Hole Screen effectively excludes all these pests, so is a great supplementary service to your general pest treatment. Don’t forget to apply it to first- or second-storey weep holes for complete protection!

The use of the Protector Weep Hole Screen provides pest managers with a great upselling opportunity. Suitable for all buildings with weep holes, its pest exclusion properties mean it’s not just an option for bushfire prone areas, but whether property owners are worried about bushfire or pests, the Protector Weep Hole Screen provides an obvious physical barrier, for that important peace of mind.

The Weepa Protector Weep Hole Screen and new Weepa Termite Protector are available through Globe Pest Solutions.

For more information go to the Weepa website.