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Anti-termite treatment is a chemical procedure carried out for soil, masonry, wood, and electrical fixtures to provide the building with a chemical barrier against the subterranean termites before and after construction.

Anti-termite chemicals, pre and post construction treatment, preventive measures, safety, advantages and disadvantages of anti-termite treatment are discussed in this article.

termite control
Fig 1: Protection methods from termites.

Anti-Termite Chemicals

The chemicals used for anti-termite treatment in buildings as per Indian Standards (IS 6313 Part-3) are :

  1. Chlorpyrifos 20 EC
  2. Lindane 20 EC

The above-mentioned chemicals are used in water emulsion for the treatment of soil in order to protect a building from termite attack. For the treatment of wood, oil or kerosene-based solution of the mentioned chemicals with 1.0% concentration is used.

Pre-Construction Anti-Termite Treatment

The procedure for pre-construction anti-termite treatment is given below –

  1. For the excavation made for foundation, the sides and the bottom surface of the foundation trenches and pits are treated with an anti-termite chemical to a height of about 30cm at the rate of 5 Lit. per square meter of surface area.
  2. For flooring, the earth surface is firstly cleaned from wooden and any other garbage particles.
  3. The entire surface should be leveled to the required elevation.
  4. Holes of 30 cm depth at an interval of 15 cm are made.
  5. An emulsion of correct concentration (as mentioned in manufacturer’s specification) shall be made by adding water to the chemical.
  6. This emulsion shall be poured in the holes by pouring jars and sprayed on the surface by using pressure pumps and sprayers.
  7. The chemical is allowed to get soaked through the holes fully.

Note: The anti-termite treatment must be done by an approved specialized agency for termite-prone areas.

Surface anti termite treatment
Fig 1: Surface anti-termite treatment.

Benefits of Pre-Construction Anti-Termite Treatment

1. Less Expensive

The steps involved in Pre-construction treatment are lesser when compared to post-construction treatment. Thus the cost of the anti-termite is less.

2. Fewer Obstacles

The number of obstacles in case of Pre-construction anti-termite treatment is lesser. Major components of buildings like walls, which gives better access to every nook and corner of the buildings without any obstacles.

3. Prevention is Better than Cure

Opting for post-construction anti-termite treatment can be late as the termites might have already started doing some sort of destruction to the foundation, walls or the wooden attachments in your home. To eradicate the termite infestation from its root, pre-construction treatment is recommended.

Post-Construction Anti-Termite Treatment

1. Inspection

Before undertaking any type of treatment, a thorough inspection shall be made of the infestation in the building with a view of determining the extent to which it has spread, and the routes of entry of termites into the building.

2. Extermination of Termites in Building

The inspection of the infestation gives the location of termites. The extermination inside the building shall be carried out in a thorough manner, seeking the termites in their hideouts, such as ceilings behind wooden panellings, inside electrical wiring battens, conduits, switchboards and similar locations.

Preventive Measures

  1. The primary function of soil treatment is to establish a chemical barrier between the termites in the soil and the building to be protected.
  2. To treat the soil outside of foundations, the soil in contact with the external wall of the building shall be treated with the chemical emulsion at the rate of 7.5 lit/Sqm of the vertical surface of the substructure to a depth of 300 mm.
  3. The termites seek their way inside the building floor through the cracks or voids at the following locations –
    (a) At the junction of the floor and walls as a result of shrinkage of the concrete.
    (b) Cracks formed on the floor surface due to construction defects.
    (c) At construction joints and expansion joints in a concrete floor.
  4. Chemical treatment should be done in the building area of the ground floor wherever the cracks are noticed. This is done by drilling vertically 12 mm holes at the junction of floor and walls, constructional and expansion joints mentioned above at 300 mm interval to reach the soil below.
  5. Treatment for wood is done at the points of contact of the woodwork. All the locations where the woodwork in the building is in contact with the woodwork must be treated with anti-termite treatment.
  6. This is done by spraying at the points of contacts with the adjoining masonry with the chemical emulsion of concentration by drilling 6mm holes at a downward angle of about 45° at the junction of woodwork and masonry.
  7. Treatment of electrical fixtures such as switch boxes in the wall is done by removing the outer coverings and treating the internal parts with 5 percent Malathion dusting powder.
Fig 2: Anti-Termite treatment in foundation.

 Safety

  1. All works shall comply with the safety procedure or instruction as set out in project safety plan and municipality rules and regulations.
  2. Basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shall be worn by all staff or laborers.
  3. All operatives shall be inducted before entering the site.

Advantages of Anti-Termite Treatment

  1. It provides immediate protection to any structure from termites, rodents, and pests.
  2. It lasts for several years.
  3. It eliminates the problem of gaps forming in the protection barrier, allowing termites to enter the home.
  4. Liquid termiticides are relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of termite control.

Disadvantages of Anti-Termite Treatment

  1. Anti-Termite treatment can lead to water contamination in areas close to waterways or wetlands.
  2. Drilling into areas that show evidence of termite entry, or concrete may be necessary, which can reduce the strength of the member or structure.
  3. Any small negligence or left out portion can lead to problems with an infestation in future.

Read More: Fire and Safety Features of High-Rise Buildings and Structures
Read More: Methods of Preventing Dampness in Buildings
Read More: Hairline Cracks in Concrete-Causes, Repair and Prevention

About Fasi Ur RahmanVerified

Fasi is a Civil Engineer associated with Tumkur Smart City Project. He is the author, editor and partner at theconstructor.org