With over 350 termite species in Australia, it pays to take precautionary steps to protect your home and save thousands of dollars on repairs. One of these precautionary steps is ant capping, and although it will not get rid of termites, it will help you deal with them before there is any damage.
What is ant capping?
Ant caps are galvanized metal sheets placed on the top of timber piers, along brick walls and floor stumps. These termite shield ant caps form a physical barrier between the termites and the stumps. Timber stumps must have ant caps. However, ant caps are not required on concrete stumps.
Why is ant capping necessary for stump houses?
All Queensland homes must have a termite management system according to the Building Code of Australia. Australian Standard AS3660.1 suggests various physical and chemical barrier systems deemed to meet the Building Code of Australia requirements; this includes ant capping.
Ant capping doesn’t prevent termites, but it does redirect them out and around the ant cap. This means that termites are easier to identify when it comes time for a professional inspection. But when there are no ant caps, activity by the termites is hidden, which is where the damage is done.
Many stump houses in Brisbane fall within the colonial category like the popular Queenslander home, and some are likely hiding deteriorating ant caps on stumps. An old practice was to nail through the ant cap into the timber stump. The problem with this is, years later, the nails rust and leave a sizable hole for the termites to crawl through. Also, old homes may have ant caps that have loose fittings and ant caps that have rusted. A skilled building inspector can inspect this for you during a pre-purchase building inspection.
Is Ant Capping Expensive?
You’ve had an inspection and discovered the property needs ant caps. The good news is, ant capping isn’t expensive. They are an essential addition that can save you thousands. You can purchase galvanized ant caps from any hardware store for as little as two dollars each.
A professional should replace ant caps. They do this by slightly jacking up the house floor at which point deteriorated ant caps are removed and new ones fitted. A termite management specialist should carry out installation and termite inspections yearly to note any termite activity.
Being proactive is undoubtedly a tiny amount to pay for peace of mind, but even though there is no method with a 100% guarantee to banish termites, regular self-inspection and professional building and pest inspection will ensure you can spend your hard-earned money on something beneficial.