Col's Construction Blog
About Me
Col's Construction Blog

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Col. I live in Perth and I have a passion for construction. I am pretty useless when it comes to construction work so I tend to leave it to the experts. However, I find that there is nothing more pleasing than seeing a team of construction workers complete a job. Over the years, I have hired many different types of construction worker and they have all taken the time to chat with me. During these conversations, I have learnt so pretty interesting things which I will be exploring on this blog. Enjoy!

Col's Construction Blog

Eaten out of House and Home: Why You Need a Structural Engineer for Termite Damage

Ethan Burton

Australia is almost a termite's paradise in terms of food availability and living conditions. Not only is the weather just right, especially in humid areas such as Sydney and Brisbane, but wood exists in abundance. In fact, back in 1999, 64% of Australian homes had timber frames, a figure that had barely changed since 1994. No wonder Australian homes are under attack.

Urbanisation Brings Termites

Although modern Australian homes are not as termite-friendly, as long as new homes are built, termites will be a problem. When new building developments move onto land inhabited by termites, those termites need a new supply of food. Nearby homes then become targets.

Houses with timber frames are most at risk of termite attack. Even homes that consist mostly of steel or cement are not safe from these pests. Where there is wood, there are termites. A hungry termite colony will travel as far as 100 metres to find food and water. They will eat wooden joists, skirting boards, sills and anything else made of wood.

If you believe your home may have termites, you'll need to call a pest inspector and a structural engineer.

Structural Engineers Assess Damage Accurately

Although a pest inspector can rid you of your termite problem, they can do nothing about the damage, nor are they qualified to assess termite damage. The same applies to home inspectors. That is the domain of a structural engineer.

Structural engineers are licensed engineers who are trained to assess structures to ensure they are sturdy, structurally safe and damage-free. Only they can determine whether you need to make expensive repairs or not. In that sense, they can save you money. They can also advise you on any modifications you might need to improve the structural integrity of your home.

Structural Engineers Can Prevent Termites

Leaks, even the smallest ones, can cause massive damage to a home. If left for months, even a small leak can allow rust and rot to affect your home. However, an unnoticed leak can also alert nearby termites. A leaking pipe can create the ideal conditions for a termite satellite colony, providing water, humidity and rotten wood.

However, by hiring a structural engineer to assess your water-damaged home, you can prevent future termite incursions. With the help of a structural engineer, you can make the correct repairs and make necessary any necessary modifications knowing that you're acting on sound, professional advice.

Hire a Structural Engineer Before Buying a Home

It is quite normal these days for homes to be inspected by home and pest inspectors before the sale is completed. The parties involved in the sale often look to these inspectors to advise them on any necessary repairs or replacements. However, although they may be experienced, these kinds of inspectors are not educated in the structural integrity of buildings.

As a result, you or the person selling their home may be advised to replace an entire wall when only minor repairs would have sufficed. If you find termite damage in a home you are thinking of buying, a structural engineer can accurately gauge the extent of the damage. Not only will this save money, but it could also save you from making a bad investment on a new home.

Termite damage is often difficult to assess — unless you have the proper training and experience. If you find termite damage in your home or one you are interested in buying, consider hiring a structural engineer such as one from East Coast Geotechnical Pty Ltd, as well as a pest control service. That way, you can be free of the termites and any unnecessary and expensive repairs that you may have been advised to make.