Termites are more of a concern when buying in Bayside…

Termites attack “virtually every timber” of house

 Emma Watson, Mordialloc Chelsea LeaderMarch 21, 2017 3:15pm

DREAMS of a beautiful investment property quickly became an expensive nightmare when Kerri Hancock discovered termites in her house.

“Virtually every timber in the house has been affected,” Ms. Hancock said.

The Kingston woman decided to add her voice to Leader’s “War on white ants” campaign in order to warn other homeowners to check for the highly destructive insect.

A leader is calling on the Kingston council to declare the region termite-prone, which would force developers to ensure anti-termite measures are incorporated in all new builds.

Ms. Hancock’s destroyed property in Seaford was built in the 1970s, long before Frankston Council declared itself a termite-prone zone and introduced new building controls.

She said her horror experience prompted her not just to support the push for Kingston to join declared councils like Frankston and protect all future buildings, but also to urge owners of older properties to check them. Termite destruction at Kerri Hancock’s Seaford house. Picture: Chris Eastman

“I would definitely encourage all homeowners to get regular inspections and implement protection barriers as a precaution,” she said.

“They may be living with termites and not know until it’s too late.”

Ms. Hancock bought the Seaford house in November 2016 only to find a mud trail months later when she pulled the old kitchen apart to kick start renovations. That trail was the first sign of a white ant infestation throughout the house. Kerri Hancock shows some of the termite damage. Picture: Chris Eastman

In Victoria, it’s up to local councils to declare themselves at risk of termites, despite industry experts claiming the white ant is everywhere.

Frankston Council, which includes Seaford, declared itself a termite danger zone in April 2007.

Developers must now install a termite barrier — chemical, graded particle, or sheet metal — on new buildings before an occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection is issued.

Frankston chief executive Dennis Hovenden said the move was to “protect building owners and the value of the municipality’s built environment”.

But he encouraged existing property owners to inspect their property for termites every 12 months.Ms. Hancock said she had notified her neighbors of her infestation.

“They may have not only been eating our house, but a lot of other houses in the area as well because they’re subterranean,” she said.

Kingston is one of 24 unprotected municipalities in Victoria.

Councillor Tamsin Bearsley has called for council officers to present a report on termite mitigation which includes termite incidents across Kingston, advice from industry experts, how other councils protect against the ants, and the impact a termite declaration would have on insurance premiums and property values.

Termites a big concern now in Kingston/Frankston Councils and certain signs weren’t picked up by a pest company.

Kerri is on a mission to save other property buyers feel free to call Kerri Hancock Bayview Real Estate 0408 998 029.

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