Facebook Pixel
Article posted on August 23, 2018

How to Protect Your Termite Barrier During Extensive Plumbing Upgrades

customer question plumbing termites image

Calamvale resident, Tom asks

“We’re about to have extensive plumbing done in our home, which we fear may disrupt our termite chemical barrier. What should we do?”


danny kelly pest imageTom, this is a great question and one that we’ve seen a lot of over the years, especially during home renovations and extensions.

Depending upon the nature of the work being performed, the advice varies.

If you’re just replacing taps and fittings etc, then you won’t have any problems. But if you’re trenching outside the home, especially along he perimeter, then there’s a very good chances that you could disrupt the barrier.

We always advise homeowners to give us a call before you begin any type of large scale renovations, just to be sure.

External plumbing

How most termite barriers are compromised

If you intend on replacing major piping or drainage then there’s a good chance you might compromise the existing termite barrier. What we usually see are short sections that have been trenched — about one or two meters along the external wall of the property which leaves the property wide open to termites due to a gap in treated soil.

Essentially what happens is that you’re breaking that protection, even if it is only a few meters, which means termites now have a clear entry point. It is, however only a relatively minor issue, as it’s easy enough to replenish the chemicals at the point of disturbance. Some homeowners may not be so lucky, however.

For internal alterations, you’ll need to ensure that there are no leaks, and all potential entry points for termites are sealed off. Moisture attracts termites, so there’s certainly a number of issues that need to be taken into account. Waterproofing of shower areas and new piping areas is essential.

To give you an example, here’s a typical scenario: A customer decides to perform an extension and jackhammers through the existing concrete slab in order to accommodate new plumbing for a shower recess. He then cuts a narrow trench in the slab all the way to the edge of the slab, so that the piping can be laid.

As you can see, he now has numerous sections exposed to termites – within the new shower recess (exposed soil), the trench and the external opening.

Once this happens, termites simply come up from the soil, and into the framework of the home.

renovate termite damage image

Termites in renovated houses

More often than not, when we find termites in a recently-renovated home, they’re usually always in the newly renovated section. This is mostly caused by a poor plumbing job, or as mentioned, entry points not properly sealed off. As professional pest controllers, we prevent any problems by applying a chemical known as TERM-Seal, and in some cases we use termite collars (around the actual piping itself)

Another common entry point we see are showers and baths. We once worked with a customer dealing with termites that had come in under the bath. When renovating, the builders jack hammered a large hole in the slab to allow for new plumbing, and upon inspection, we found a huge gap where the termites made their way through the dirt, under the slab, and then straight into the framework of the property.

If you’re trenching along the wall edge on the outside of the property, and you have concerns that your chemical barrier may have been disturbed, just give us a call. It may only cost a couple of hundred dollars to that section replenished.

For what its worth, its always worth doing. Just a small exposed section can lead to failure of an entire barrier, so don’t risk it.

Before you start digging, give us a call

pest ex termite treatment professionals image

Over the past decade, Pest-Ex has performed more than 9,000 termite inspections and termite control treatments Our team of skilled professionals can assist you in the early detection and prevention of termites, which if left untreated can cause considerable amounts of damage to your property.

Our inspection services include –

  • Termite inspections
  • Pre purchase inspections
  • Pre auction, pre handover inspections
  • Ongoing management and yearly inspections

Starting at just $190 for a regular sized home or unit, our inspections are more than affordable, and a wise investment to ensure your property isn’t at risk of an infestation. Call us today to organise an inspection at your property.

Ask a question below. To contact Pest-Ex directly click here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prevent infestations & protect your property

Reviews Icon
White Star 5.0

30 reviews

Google Reviews
White Star 5.0

30 reviews


5 Star Google reviews from both Gold Coast & Brisbane locations

Google image
Kent Bailey
11 months ago
Just had my home barrier treatment for termites by Pest Ex. In every way a brilliant job and fantastic friendly service unlike...read more anything else I have struck on the Gold Coast. This is a very professional company and every person involved was excellent in every way. Strongly recommend them to all who read this review because you won't do better.
Google image
Christie McCabe
a year ago
On time. Efficient. Friendly. Informative. Well priced. Our experience with Pest-Ex was easy from the moment Reception answered our call. Our routine...read more pest inspection could be done the next day (a Saturday which is most convenient for full time workers). Karl arrived at 7am with a smile to complete the service and carried out the work efficiently informing us of the process where required. Thanks team.
Google image
Chris Burt
2 years ago
Very professional and able to identify our pest problem on the spot. Was on time and great communication with admin girls via...read more phone. Very conscious of keeping our pet safe after the treatment which was a classy touch. Highly recommend!
Google image
6 months ago
Great people and always helpful and providing a good service.
Google image
Lorrie Cruickshanks
a year ago
Thank you to Garyn who first identified the issues, he was extremely thorough and prompt and then to John and Janine and...read more the team who treated and area and placed the baits. The process was fully explained and they were extremely courteous and very professional. Thank you to all the team. The office also kept us up to date with when their representatives would be visiting and this is very much appreciated. Great work.
Google image
Donna Hamerton
a year ago
After reading reviews, I'm glad that I chose Pest-Ex. Maria in the office was more than understanding to accommodate me and times....read more I was able to get a booking the same day I made the enquiry. Garyn my technician was even able to come earlier. When he arrived he was happy to explain everything that was going to happen and how to work around my pets and children. Need pest control done - hire these guys.
Google image
Phoebe Worth
2 years ago
Impressed with the service. The technician Steve was on time, friendly and thorough - you could tell he was not rushing the...read more job. Will be using Pest-Ex again. Thanks guys!
Google image
Mickey Ketch
a year ago
This company actually investigates the problem instead of just spraying your place and leaving. Very HIGH knowledge and experience in what they...read more do. They took the time to investigate the cause, the source of the problem and elimnated it completely which included going through every cupboard, cracks hiding spots the lot. We had a cochroach problem in our apartment for 3 months and we had 4 different companies come out and NONE of them investigated they only sprayed. After we called PestEx, Mr. Phillips was very knowledgeable and experienced eliminating our problem entirely. We also use PestEx in our shop and both Mr Phillips and Marty are EXCELLENT in resolving and maintaining pest problems. HIGHLY RECOMMEND PEST EX. BEST I'VE SEEN IN QUEENSLAND.