As part of our Pre-construction Exposed segment, Barry Quon, National Technical and Training Manager for Termseal, looks at the various solutions for termite proofing a new building, even in cases where the builder makes things tricky.
In our feature series of articles over the past few issues, we’ve shown you how to termite proof homes under construction by using our Termseal range of products. From slab penetrations, perimeter systems, construction joints and back filled wall for termite and moisture proofing, we’ve shown you how to best protect a home from termite infestation. But remember, all house construction starts with the slab, which is the builder’s responsibility. It’s after this that we take over and design a termite management system to alleviate the risk of concealed access by termites to the building.
But what happens when the builder gets it wrong? Most of us will have received a phone call from a builder late in the afternoon to tell us that they are pouring a slab first thing the next day, or worse, that they poured a slab a week ago and forgot to call you to install the collars.
Occasionally, the builder will book you in for a perimeter installation and when you get there, the frame has already been erected. As frustrating as this can be, there are ways you can accommodate your builder and in doing so, create a harmonious and possibly life-long working relationship.
Firstly, overlooked penetrations. If you can’t get to the site before the pour, ask the builder or concreter if he can install a piece of Able ex (void former) around the pipe penetration, with the tear o strip to the top. The Able ex should be positioned so that the top is at or just above, finished floor level with the ends butted together, not overlapped.
After the slab has been poured and has cured, you can finish off the treatment. I suggest this is preformed when you do the perimeter installation, as it will save you a site visit. Remove the top of the Able ex to a depth of 20 mm, being careful not to puncture the pipe. Thoroughly clean the area to ensure the void is free of any concrete particles, dust or dirt.
Apply a thin coat of Termseal TM Prime-Coat to the void and surrounding area of the pipes, and allow to dry. Inject Termseal TM Sealant Active into the void surrounding the pipes to finished floor level height. Smooth o the top of the sealant bead to ensure there are no gaps.
Another option for treating slab penetrations if you can’t make it to the site, is to ask the concreters to create a groove around each plumbing penetration pipe before the slab sets. The grove required is 10 mm wide and 20 mm deep. Again, to eliminate site visits, you can groove around the penetration on the perimeter install by using the method described above.
But what happens if the builder (usually an owner builder) has already poured the slab and forgotten to call you? This procedure is a bit more labour intensive but it can be achieved, using Termseal Prime-Coat and Termseal Sealant Active.
With a chisel bolster, carefully cut away the area around the penetration to a width of 10 mm from the penetration and 20 mm deep. Make sure you use extreme care when cutting away concrete next to the penetration so that the penetration is not damaged. Follow the same procedures as with the previous method, ensuring you’ve cleaned out debris and then applied Termseal Prime-Coat and filled the void with our Sealant Active to level with the top of the slab.
Arriving on site to do your perimeter “top load” only to nd that the carpenters have erected the frame is disappointing to say the least. However, you can give the builder a couple of options. Using Termseal Ura-Fen Shield TWB (main picture, above) or Termseal PRM Active Cord and Capping Strip as a “side loaded” method, will get the builder out of trouble. The builder will have to lay some brickwork first, but you can sell the bonus that both these Termseal products can be utilised as his damp proof course (DPC).
Remember to charge extra for the side load installations as you will use more product i.e. Termseal Multi-Purpose Active or Termseal Ura-Fen Adhesive, and if you are using Termseal Ura-Fen Shield TWB, the nail spacing should be at least 300 mm centres.
You may also come across a situation where you don’t have access to the side of the rebated slab edge, as the builder may have inadvertently installed the brickwork. The go-to product in this situation would be Termseal Ura-Fen Major, our two-component polyurethane settable foam containing 5 g/kg bifenthrin as active constituent when cured. This product must be used with Termseal Multi-Purpose Active, Termseal Sealant Active and Termseal PRM Active Cord and Capping Strip (110 mm) for brick cavity applications. When dispersed to form a barrier, it must have a minimum depth of 40 mm thickness.
Lastly, if you’ve been completely built out and the house is nearing completion – yes, it does happen – you could use Termseal Termite-Pro Perimeter Retreatment System. This approach offers long-term perimeter protection with a replenishable system. Termseal Termite-Pro Perimeter Retreatment System has a simple installation methodology with minimal parts and can be installed at the same time as a perimeter soil treatment for replenishment later.
Whatever the termite pre-construction problems you may encounter, with our range of Australian-made products and helpful service-orientated staff, Termseal has a solution.
Barry Quon, National Technical and Training Manager, Termseal