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Hazardous Materials ID and Risk Management

Hazardous Materials ID and Risk Management
  • Many pre 1982 buildings have some asbestos including lining of eaves, roofing, wall linings and cladding.
  • Most pre 1970 buildings have lead paint
  • Other substances can include PCBS (polychlorinated biphenyls) from old fluorescent light fittings, loose glass fibres or old asbestos pipe and duct insulation. Seek expert advice on hazardous material removing or sealing.

Termites Risk Factors

  • Inadequate sub floor clearances and slab-on-ground
  • Insufficient subfloor ventilation and light
  • Abutment with susceptible construction or soil (e.g. slabs, verandas, patios and steps).
  • Inadequate site drainage, leaking water services
  • Presence of subfloor attractants (e.g. tree roots, buried timber, dump areas).
  • Cracks and fissures on slabs
  • Service connections

Termite Protection

Remove and repair or replace any termite-damaged timber and ensure that the pests are no longer active or able to access the building. Identify the access point for any previous damage and repair or install barriers.

Physical barriers, adequate clearance and yearly inspections are the best protection against termites.

Implement all the preventive steps recommended in your termite report including:

  • checking all ant caps and barriers
  • restoring at least 400mm clearance under subfloor timber structures and making sure there is good ventilation and drainage
  • clearing garden beds and mulch build-up from walls and exposing at least 100mm of slab edges where possible.

Check for and fit adequate termite protection (if you’re repairing or renovating, do it while the existing structure is exposed) with:

  • continuous termite shield to cavities
  • ant-capping to piers and bearers
  • shields to service penetrations.

Retrofitting using physical barriers is the preferred method. They are simplest for homes with raised timber floors and isolated piers, and more complex for perimeter masonry foundations or slab-on-ground. Retrofit barriers to protect wall cavities, such as mesh or graded stone, and termite-proof service penetrations using physical barriers.

Environmentally benign chemical barriers are the least preferred but may be necessary in some situations. Use chemicals with minimum toxicity. Chemicals that require regular reapplication are usually the safest option. Ensure that they are reapplied according to the recommended schedule. Retrofit a reticulated system in cavities for chemical protection.

Schedule and pre-book an annual termite inspection by a reputable, licensed inspector.


Floor – Can commonly be traced to leaking pipes or to moisture under concrete slabs being forced up through cracks and fissures by hydrostatic pressure. They can be fixed by replacing drainage (plumber) or instantly adequate up-slope groundwater drainage or diversion (seek professional help).

Cavity Wall Leaks – Result from failed cavity capping or flashings and blocked weepholes along the base of the wall or over the windows and door openings. Replace flashings (plumber and bricklayer) required. Clear weepholes and remove/replace bricks where necessary to get rid of debris and mortar droppings.

Roof Leaks – Are often best detected when it is raining because water can travel along way from the source of the wet spot. Replace roof fixings and seal holes with silicone or bitumen blacked tape and a heat gun.