Termite management systems aren’t required in the construction of commercial buildings. But termites aren’t fussy – they will attack any building as long as there is wood present. Sentricon AlwaysActive provides a smart solution to protect both commercial and residential buildings.
While termite management systems aren’t required in the construction of commercial buildings, the owners of Kootingal and District Preschool wished they were, when three years after moving into their new facilities they found evidence of a devastating termite infestation.
After noticing mottling on a wall, the preschool’s director found a soft spot and ended up poking a hole through it. Termites had got in through the front of the building and were attacking the wall studs, gyprock and architraves.
“You can actually see where they’ve eaten through in our laundry,” explained preschool director, Bec Wright. “Where we’ve had power points installed in the front foyer offce area, there’s not much structure now behind the wall because of the termite damage, it’s quite significant. Horrendous when you’ve just opened a brand new service.”
Brock Pearson of Pearson’s Pest in Tamworth was called in to help control the infestation. He began by reviewing old construction plans.
“The new building is constructed of steel piers, timber framing and fibre-cement cladding. Being a preschool, additional cladding has been extended to the soil to prevent access by the children, but this has restricted air flow and caused condensation build-up in the sub-floor,” Mr Pearson explained.
The site had other considerations, being on sandy soil, sloping towards a creek, and surrounded by eucalyptus. But it was the old plans that revealed that underneath the car park a very large tree stump had been left in place. “We suspect that’s where the nest was.”
“What was really interesting, is one of the steel piers must have actually gone all the way through the concrete slurry into the soil, for the footing, and the termites have actually gone up the inside of the hollow steel pier,” Mr Pearson said. The first step in dealing with the problem was to eliminate the active termites in the building. Mr Pearson installed Sentricon AG Stations at feeding sites in the building. Activity was eliminated within four months and, being a bait, Mr Pearson had confidence the colony had been eliminated.
For Miss Wright, the discovery propelled the school to proactively work to protect the centre from further infestations going forward. “If we were to get another hit, the cost of having to fix all that damage could really destroy us. We’re only a little community based non- for-profit centre so we had to be prepared,” Miss Wright said. “It took a little bit of time to sort out our funding and get the system in place but it was a high priority, so we rejuggled some of our budget to make it happen.”
Being in a long-term drought, with sandy soil and on a slope towards a creek, along with the need for the highest degree of safety to children, Mr Pearson decided Sentricon AlwaysActive was the obvious choice and installed a full system around the preschool, paying particular attention to conducive areas, such as under the air conditioners.
“The Sentricon AlwaysActive system has been in place for 12 months, with no hits as yet. We monitor the site every three months, and pay close attention to the wooden play equipment as that is not within the protection system at this point in time,” Mr Pearson said. “We are also looking to add ventilation to reduce the risk of termites and other issues associated with sub-floor moisture.”
For Miss Wright, having the system in place means she now has one less thing to think about. “Pearson’s come every quarter and let us know if there are any issues,” Miss Wright explained. “My Mum and Dad also had termite issues, and then the preschool, and I’ve got a weatherboard house, so we all had a Sentricon system put in. You just know that you’re protected and you’re safe moving forward.”
Sentricon AlwaysActive is ideal for sensitive sites such as a preschool due to its very low risk of exposure to the termiticide, being a solid rod encased within a station, as well as extremely low mammalian toxicity. With no leaching potential, even when inundated with water, Sentricon is also the ideal choice in sandy soils, on slopes and near waterways.