Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Terminators

I'm skipping the "What Irritates You Monday" in favour of this post which I believe is more important.
And the day did have a slightly irritating component.
(the noise)


The Terminators!
 (Termi-nators).


As you all know, I live in a block of eight flats, constructed in  a T shape.
Well,  an upside down T shape.
The cross bar along the front and the T behind.
Two flats down and two flats up in the "cross bar", and the same in the "T".

A few weeks ago it was discovered that the one of the flats had termites.
Also known as White Ants. 

(googled image)
These nasty little buggers will eat your house right out from under you!
And you may not notice until it is too late.

Because of the closeness of the flats, we all had to have a termite treatment carried out.
Well, those of us on the ground floor.
In due time we were notified when to expect....The Terminators.


They walked through each flat, decided where to drill holes in the floors and got to work.

See the raised edge on that hole?  It didn't get levelled, I had to smack it down later with a hammer when the sealant had set.


I have vinyl floor coverings in my flat, while all the other ground floor flats all have polished boards.
This made it hard for the drill handler to determine where the under floor joists were, so in several areas he struck one and had to drill a little way off to the side to get right through to the underfloor area to be treated.

So there they are, twin holes.


The entire perimeter had holes drilled every 30 cm.


My back porch, front porch,  both sides of the lobby separating the flats and along the sides of the building.
It took hours and was very noisy.
They struck a problem with a couple of the front porches that had ramps built up over the original foundations to facilitate easy access for wheelchairs and shopping scooters**.



A much longer drill bit was required and was eventually delivered. I did mention that perhaps they should always carry one just for this particular problem. And a stud finder to help with determining the position of floor joists.

One of the Terminators applied the termite treatment in the lobby and around the perimeter,


 while the younger one worked inside the flats.


Oooh! there's a strange man in my bedroom!
(ahem)
Once all the holes had been treated they were filled with some sort of silicone sealant and left to dry.

This stuff shrunk as it dried and I now have tiny hollows which will catch dirt and dust.

The perimeter holes had a cap of matching colour sealed to them as well to keep a smooth surface that wouldn't catch wheels.

They're slightly rounded, not flat.

While the whole day was noisy and annoying and I now have little beige spots on my floors, I'm glad it was done.
The neighbour who had the termites has had all her cabinetry replaced. Since most of the under sink cabinet was already very badly chewed, they replaced her built in wardrobe as well, just in case.

**A few years ago, I'd decided I couldn't wait to get one of these shopping scooters. I'd fit it with a klaxon horn and sneak up behind those inconsiderate people blocking supermarket aisles to catch up and chat. Then I'd let loose with the horn and watch them jump.
I've changed my mind.
Two of my neighbours have these and every single night they are plugged into the electricity to recharge the battery. 
I don't want that extra cost thank you very much, so I'll manage without. 
I'll just have to poke those annoying shoppers with my walking stick.

11 comments:

  1. Wow..they really made a mess of your floors. Can you get management in to replace the floors citing "trip hazard"?
    PS I have a strange man in my bedroom every night...the hubs...he's REALLY strange.

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  2. I'm sorry about the termites. Usually, don't you have to vacate when the terminators do their thing? When I lived in Florida, they covered a building with plastic and sprayed everything.
    I think the walking stick will poke just as well. hahaha

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  3. Unfortunate about the holes, but I guess it had to be done. If it needs to be done again, hopefully they can unplug the existing holes.

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  4. Apparently termites are also rampaging in Melbourne but I have a concrete floor fortunately.

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  5. Aaaargh. More than an irritation. I hope they have got the rotten little beasts in time.

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  6. Those white ants (termite are an absolute pain over here in the West). We have annual treatment and about every 5 years they do the perimeter of the house so holes drilled around the front concrete verandah and the rest of the outside areas. We have manholes cut into our living room wooden floor and the chap pops down into our foundations to check and so far OK. The timber in our house is jarrah which is almost termite resistant but a few trees in the garden had termites in them and our front ranch fence as well. They apparently travel underground from one place to another even under the road to houses over the other side. There are some black ants that go after the termites and seem to wipe them out which is good.

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  7. Delores; the floors aren't so bad. The holes are quite tiny, a fraction wider than 1cm and since I flattened the edges with a hammer there's no hazard at all.

    Manzanita; no vacating was necessary. The termites were only found in one ground floor flat, so the underfloor area was the only part treated. If they'd been right through the flats including upstairs, I would think the treatment would be more extensive and we would have to leave for the day.

    Andrew; I don't imagine it will need to be done again, probably just a check every year or so. I've lived in places that already have these plugged holes and there hasn't been any problems.

    JahTeh; termites are rampaging right throughout the country. Seems they can sniff out damp softwoods miles away. Actually, I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that they send out scouts and autumn is a great time for them.

    Elephant's Child; I'm confident there will be no more problems. I've seen termites at work and know what to look for regarding evidence of them.

    Mimsie; annual treatment or annual checks? I've been told that the termites that eat trees aren't the same as the ones that eat houses, but I don't believe that. I do know that if the nest and feeding area is disturbed they will move on to a new area. This is why the treatment needs to be the whole area so they get killed. I'm glad your house is Jarrah, hard woods aren't so popular, termites prefer soft woods such as pine and chipboard etc. If ever I'm lucky enough to build a house I'll be sure to specify hardwood for all areas that need wood. Too many homes have pine frames because it is so much cheaper.

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  8. Ah yes, the Aussie tradie: near enough is good enough.

    You're right about the divots in your floors now being dust and grime catchers and yes, the Terminators should always have a stud finder!

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  9. Horrid little bugs. I'd be just fine with the floor plugs if the damn things were done in.

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  10. Hi River,

    Thank God we don't have that problem "oop North".

    :-)

    Cheers

    PM

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  11. Kath Lockett; these days near enough just ISN'T good enough. I may just top up the shrunk sealant with a little extra something, maybe a bit of left over wood filler or no-more-gaps. My son in law has a stud finder in his tool box which never leaves his car. That man is so handy to have around.

    Joanne Noragon; the look of the floor means nothing to me as long as the termites are gone.

    Plasman; really? no termites? You are so lucky. You probably have other problems that we don't. Frozen pipes for instance.

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