Common Signs of a Poorly Installed Termite Barrier

Posted on September 16, 2020

Common Signs of a Poorly Installed Termite Barrier

Professional termite management is vital to protecting your home and business from destructive timber pests. Systems like physical and termite barriers are designed to repel, and in some cases eliminate termites, including the remaining colony and Queen. When installed properly, these systems provide guaranteed relief from termites for several years.

There are strict requirements when it comes to the installation and maintenance of termite management systems. These requirements are outlined by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standard AS 3600.1-2000. They specify how each system is to be installed, used, and maintained in order for them to be effective. It is very important these guidelines are followed during the construction of a new building, extension and renovation. Failure to do so can increase the risk of infestation and lead to legal troubles.

Unfortunately, a termite management system can fail, this is usually due to:

  • The building structures
  • Human Interference (Home Extensions / concrete pathways / plumbing changes etc)
  • Erosion
  • Poor product installation & maintenance programs

Such occurrences are rare, but they do happen. When they do, the property owner is left with an ineffective termite management system, one that does little to protect their home from destructive timber pests. Worst of all, the owner is under the false impression their home is safe, and it’s not until a major infestationwhen they uncover the truth.

Why do some termite management systems fail? Before we answer that, let’s first look at what the BCA and Australian Standard requirements are:


The purpose of the BCA guidelines is to ensure that parts of the home which are most susceptible to termite infestation is properly treated. These include the:

  • Framing
  • Skirting boards
  • Reveals
  • Window frames
  • Door jambs, and
  • Architraves

Why these particular areas? Because they are primarily comprised of wood-based construction materials. In particular, the cellulose wood, which is the primary food source for subterranean termites.

Of course, you can request a higher level of termite protection than the minimum BCA requirements. You may want this if you live – or plan to live – in a suburb that is particularly susceptible to termite infestation.

What about the Australian Standards? According to the AS 3660.1-2000, installation of a termite management system is a mandatory step in the construction process. If the process is skipped, or found to be insufficient, construction must come to a grinding halt until the system is setup properly.


Physical and chemical barriers are the two most common types of termite barriers.

Physical barriers come in two variations. For homes built on stumps, ant capping is used. This involves installing a metal plate or ‘cap’ on top of the stumps and piers of your home. For homes built on slabs, then metal flashing is used as part of the termite management system.

Termite Bait TreatmentPhysical barriers may also come in the form of a layer of finely graded stones, gravel, or stainless steel mesh. When laid down properly, the materials help form an impenetrable barrier around the building.

Reticulation systems are the most common and effective type of chemical barrier. This involves the installation of a series of pipes deep within the soil (at least 25-50 cm deep) around the property foundation. Termiticide, a form of insecticide, flows through the pipeline to create a secure barrier designed to eliminate termites. The reticulation system must be checked and replenished on a frequent basis by someone qualified and licensed to handle chemicals.


There are many ways that termite barriers, both physical and chemical, can and often do fail. These mistakes are due to poor workmanship, lack of knowledge, and following outdated practices.Whatever the reason, they pose a serious risk to the paying customer.

Some of the most common types of termite barrier failure include:

Physical Termite Barrier
  • Physical baiting program:Often fail, due to the placement of cellulose timbers stations that are place closely around all sides of your home.Once these stations become termite active, the timber should be replaced with a bait. If the timbers have not been inspected 4 weekly they fail, the timbers are eaten, the termites build up in numbers and are now on the moveandmuch closer toyour home.
  • Incorrectly installed physical material barrier: The quality of the graded stones, gravel, or stainless steel is insufficient or breaks down and can-not be replaced. Thus, the barrier is unable to maintain its structural integrity.
  • Incorrectly set reticulation line: The reticulation line is not installed deep enough below the surface. As a result the subterranean termites simply dig under the reticulation lineto access the property. Any reticulation line must be installed at least 25-40cm underground.
  • Poorly maintained chemical barriers: The pest control company who installed the chemical barrier fails to follow up on maintaining the barrier. Or, the owner refuses to maintain it. As a result, the warranty for the chemical barrier is void, and the company can no longer guarantee that the barrier will protect their home from termites.


Want the peace of mind that comes with a professional termite management system? Consider All Bugs today.

Our licensed pest experts are highly skilled in all forms of termite control. We take the time to understand your needs, develop a custom solution, and provide ongoing support until the infestation is gone.

Best of all? Your treatment is based by an official All Bugs workmanship guarantee. That means if termites return during the warranty period, it won’t cost you a cent more for us fix the problem for you.

For professional termite control that really works, contact All Bugs today.

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