Invasive Inspection for Detecting Termite Damage Or Termite Activity

Invasive termite inspection in termite control

An invasive termite inspection is often recommended in a termite inspection report or a pre buy termite inspection report. Simply put an invasive termite inspection is the next step that most pest managers will recommend when they understand that there is quite a risk of either termite damage or termite activity being present in a structure that is not able to be detected using standard visual termite inspection practices.

It can be argued that before invasive termite inspection is undertaken, that there are at the minimum two (and possibly more) valid termite inspection tools that are non invasive and consequently less costly both in the carrying out of them, and the fact that they carry no repair bill as all invasive inspections do, these tools  need to be considered. They are thermal inspection and microwave inspection.

Techniques for invasive termite inspection

  • Use of a borer scope to determine if termite mudding is present

A borer scope is a piece of equipment that has either an optical lense arrangement or a camera and cable arrangement on a long flexible cable/tube that can be inserted into a cavity to allow viewing inside. Generally speaking in a house, this will require holes to be drilled into the walls to allow access of the lense between the wall studs. Mostly the holes will need to be drilled between each wall stud approximately 450mm-600mm apart around all walls that are of special interest, and in some situations the complete house.  A borer scope can be used to look inside any cavity that has the ability for a hole to be produced that will fit the lense by, this includes dwarf brick walls, ceiling cavities and under and behind kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The size of the hole that is necessary for access is usually 14mm.

  • Removal of trimming timbers to show extent of termite activity or mudding

In areas where it is suspected that termites may be working this is often able to be positively determined by removing trimming timbers in the areas of special interest. This may necessitate the removal of skirting boards, door frames, chair or picture rails and architraves. The exact trimmings needing removal varies from home to home and can only be determined on site once the construction methods are ascertained. This method will generally not show the extent of termite damage.

  • Cutting of gyprock to show termite workings and damage

Where it is required that exacting measurement of termite damage to timber be ascertained, then the removal of gyprock usually up to a height of around 300 mm is the best way to meet this. This method will usually be employed with the help of thermal imaging and moisture meters to reduce the amount of damage occasioned to walls, however the only true way to explain all of the termite damage is to keep cutting until no more termite mud packing or termite damage can be found.

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