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What most people don't know is that termite barriers don't actually stop termites getting into the house, they just stop hidden entry. The barriers are inspection systems rather than prevention systems. Regular inspections use the barriers to look for termite entry at pre-determined locations then termite activity can be controlled as required.


A termite's favorite substance is cellulose, which can be found in most wood and paper products. The main source of cellulose for termites is wood and it does not matter whether this is hardwood or softwood. Cellulose can also be obtained through sources other than wood, such as grass and debris. A mistake often made is that it is not realized that termites can also attack carpet, plastic, soft metals (yes !!!!) and electrical cabling. A termite colony can devour any wood in close contact with natural grade in a matter of weeks. There are only a few wood species which are 100% guaranteed termite resistant. These wood species can only be found in Africa an South America, definitely NOT in Indonesia, however, there are a few the Indonesian hardwood wood species which are "more or less" termite resistant which are Bojonegoro Teak, Bangkirai and Iron wood, provided only heartwood is used.    

The objective of an effective termite barrier is to deter concealed termite access from the soil and since subterranean termites nest underground they will attack your wooden house from below. Termites need only a very small space to get into your home (1mm is enough) and the biggest problem is recognizing the signs that your house is under attack.

The first obvious place for termites to get in is from under the home itself. There are three vulnerable spots for a home with normal slab-on-ground construction; up next to the plumbing or electrical pipe penetrations, up into the wall cavities along the perimeter of the home and up to the columns or pedestals.

Regardless whether a wood species is termite resistant or not, it is always strongly recommended that a termite control system is installed which is designed to deter concealed access of termites from ground level. Such system is often called a "Termimesh" system. 

Termimesh is a physical barrier made out of marine-grade, stainless steel-woven wire mesh. The termites cannot squeeze through the holes in the mesh, and they cannot chew through the durable stainless steel. Termimesh is installed in the foundation of a building at the time of construction and blocks all termite entry points the same way window screens stop flying insects above the ground. The Termimesh system is installed by certified installers who work under a strict quality assurance program. So you wish we can provide you some names of certified installers.


A termite barrier is a simple small hip roof like structure that is installed on top of the pedestals which are connected to the ground floor and sub floor beams or at the foot of columns. Termites always attack from below (natural grade) and work their way via the pedestals or columns to reach the wood they are attracted to. By installing this simple hip roof like structure it is difficult for a termite to pass as it will most probably fall down from the slippery down pitched surface. Though this system is not 100% guaranteed it will alert the owner of the house that a termite attack is imminent. Precautions can be taken in time.  


                                    Typical termite barrier. Can be made from wood, aluminum or plastic. The more slippery the better



Always build with suspended ground floors, hence elevated from natural grade whereas sufficient crawl space shall be catered for (say 500 to 600 mm) as to enable regular inspect the bottom of the floor. In addition install a termite barrier, and/or use a 100% resistant wood species for the pedestals (like Bangkirai or Merbau heartwood). And this is exactly what we do.

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Last modified: October 26, 2013
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