17 Jun Prevent Termites | Stop Efflorescence
Don’t let termites eat into your inheritance. Make sure your parents have regular pest inspections.
Maintaining the family home through regular inspections ensures the highest level of quality and safety is preserved for decades to come. A family home is the biggest investment you can make, so why let it all come crumbling down when you have the chance to not only maintain but also add value instead. ASAP Building and Pest Inspections have a wealth of experience in family home inspections and the common problem areas that arise are usually the least demanding to solve.
Useful tips to prevent termites
- Have regular pest inspections throughout the year.
- Ensure venting is not blocked. Proper air flow keeps the area dry and less attractive to termites.
- Fix all leaking pipes or water damage around the house promptly. Moist soil attracts termites, ensure drainage pipes from hot water systems, air conditioners, leaking taps etc. are not dripping into the soil at the base of the perimeter.
- Don’t store untreated wood up against the home.
- Brick homes are not safe from termites. Gaps between the bricks (known as weep holes) allow ventilation and moisture to escape, so ensure the weep holes are kept clear of concrete, dirt, garden mulch or any obstruction that would allow termites to gain entry without being detected. ASAP Building and Pest Inspections recommend you maintain a debris free inspection zone of at least 75mm below your weep holes.
ASAP Building and Pest Inspections can check all of these problem areas for you and more.
|Termites in skirting
|Window damage caused by termites
Brick homes are also in danger of efflorescence. Efflorescence is a powdery deposit of salts that forms on the surface of bricks, mortar, and concrete. It is usually white but efflorescence may be yellow, green or brown.
Persistent efflorescence should be taken as a warning that water is entering the wall through faulty copings, flashings, or pipe leakage. If allowed to continue unchecked the salts carried to the face of the wall may eventually attack and cause deterioration of some bricks.
The amount of efflorescence that occurs is directly related to the amount of water in the bricks, and their drying time. The more water in the bricks, and the longer it is there, the more chance salts will have to dissolve in it and be brought to the surface as the bricks dry out.
Efflorescence can be confused with spalling – this is damaged brickwork where the surface of the bricks starts to crumble because of freeze/thaw action, after it has become saturated in the winter months. To get the correct diagnosis call ASAP Building and Pest Inspections on 07 3206 0292.
Salts enter the wall from various sources:
- New bricks seldom contain soluble salts, but mortar and concrete have relatively high soluble salt contents.
- Ground waters that are naturally salt-bearing can be drawn into base brickwork.
- A faulty damp proof course, or a damp course, bridged by mortar will allow the salts to migrate up the wall.
- Render that has been applied over a damp proof course can also allow salt to migrate up the face of the brickwork.
Water allowed to enter uncovered cavity walls during construction is likely to cause efflorescence so brickwork should have been protected from water entry during construction.
If you’re experiencing efflorescence ASAP Building and Pest Inspections can reverse the mistakes and get your home back to the highest standard of quality and safety.
The best method is to simply brush off the deposit with a stiff dry bristle brush after the wall has dried out. Following on from this, sponge the surface with a damp synthetic chamois or high suction sponge. Use very little water and rinse sponge frequently in fresh water. If salts aren’t completely removed they can cause further staining, as it remains in the pores of the brick and dissolves again when it is wet.
- Hose with water. It will cause the salts to dissolve and be re-absorbed into the brickwork, and then reappear when the bricks dry out again.
- Use acid or alkaline treatments. They increase the salt content of the wall.
Removing efflorescence can be very time-consuming and take many scrubs to remove completely. Regular inspections will ensure you prevent this problem altogether, or fix it in the early stages.
Buyers of a home usually get a pre-purchase building inspection. Make sure your home passes the test by having regular inspections. ASAP Building and Pest Inspections offer a range of services for all types of properties in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Ipswich areas.