There’s usually no early warning of termite infestation when you have Meranti or MDF decorative timbers.
Some homes are built with termite resistant skirting boards, architraves and door jambs.
That’s Good, Right??? No, that’s bad!
Why? Because the home owners or inexperienced inspectors can’t see or detect termite infestations in the wall framing and roof timbers without hi-tech termite detection tools such as thermal cameras and moisture metres.
Damage usually happens inside the walls and roof voids in these homes so the structural framing and roof timbers are destroyed by termites before the owners realise it, and of course the owners don’t have inspections as there are usually no signs of damage. These are the homes where we see the really serious damage as seen on the current affairs shows every 3 months or so. You see, termites don’t usually touch these decorative timbers when they are made of MDF or Meranti, so usually there are no signs of damage as framing is eaten.
The first photo above is of a house with Meranti decorative timbers that we have treated.
The home has suffered extensive damage to the wall framing and roof timbers, but with no sign of damage showing in any of the Meranti architraves and skirting boards.
The next photo shows some termite damaged timbers as often encountered when we attend homes to provide free quotes. Meranti decorative timbers were commonly used in AV Jennings homes and high class homes. Once Meranti and MDF are painted you’ll need an experienced inspector to tell the difference. It is then imperative that your inspector uses a moisture metre and high resolution infrared camera ( Thermal camera ) to check the walls. He’ll also need to inspect the roof timbers carefully to look for damage because a tapping tool, or donger, probably won’t find the damage by tapping alone.
The third photo shows what can be seen with a thermal imaging camera, which can not be seen with the naked eye.
Book both a professional building inspector and a pest inspector for your inspections.
Check they have clean BSA licenses and that they are qualified for this type of work.
Don’t ask your mate the builder to ‘have a look’ for you. Your friendship could be short lived if he misses something!