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Termites In High-rise Condo


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#1 wpcoe

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Posted 2009-07-15 01:45:35

I accompanied a friend while he looked at condo properties recently in Pattaya/Jomtien and one of them was a high-rise near the beach. One unit on the 27th floor had termite trails on a wood molding along the bathroom wall/ceiling joint. The unit appeared to have been vacant for quite some time.

How easy is it to get rid of termites in a condo? Do they just scurry to another unit for awhile, only to return later to yours?

If this one unit has termites, what are the odds that the entire building has them throughout?

If you have ceramic tile or granite flooring installed on top of the concrete floor, is there a way for termites to attack wood furniture like chair and table legs? What about cabinetry or wardrobes that are against the concrete walls? I understand termites cannot "eat" concrete, but can navigate through small cracks within. Would concrete floors and rendered walls likely have such navigable cracks?

Sorry for so many questions, but my friend definitely does not want a lifetime battle with termites, nor a decor totally devoid of wood.

#2 mdechgan

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Posted 2009-07-17 12:09:25

Termites can navigate through walls and floor cracks. They eventually will find cracks anywhere. They eat through gypsum and wallboards.
There is not much one can do in a condo. If you call the pest control people spraying that one room won't really help because they will just move to the next room or floor only to return.

#3 trogers

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Posted 2009-07-17 19:18:57

Minimize used of built-in furniture. If necessary, use magnesium board with laminate to finish.

Loose timber furniture will not be attacked if they are not in contact with moisture. Avoid cheap particle boards knock-down furniture.

Replace timber skirtings with PVC type.

Get pest control in to spray the condo every 6 months.

#4 wpcoe

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Posted 2009-07-17 23:29:13

trogers: Thanks for the mention of magnesium board. I had never heard of it before.

A Google of it produced a bunch of sites that assume one knows what it is, but the wikipedia page mentions it can be used in lieu of gypsum/sheetrock/drywall.

I notice the wikipedia page says: "Presently MgO board is widely used in Asia as a primary construction material." Is it widely available in Thailand, and how does it compare to gypsum board pricewise? Is it finished off just like gypsum, i.e. if I decided to use it for ceilings, would my local ceiling guy know how to do the seams and edgework?

And a final question: Am I correct in assuming that your recommendation of it is based upon the fact that it is termite-resistant (termite-proof) versus the standard gypsum board that they munch right through?

#5 wpcoe

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Posted 2009-07-17 23:33:36

Get pest control in to spray the condo every 6 months.

What would their visit entail? Just spraying on exposed surfaces? (i.e. Something I could do myself.)

I believe that with houses, an exterminator would inject chemicals into the soil and even through the concrete foundation through holes bored for that purpose, but not sure what a bi-annual visit to a condo on the 27th floor would entail.

#6 trogers

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Posted 2009-07-17 23:59:15

trogers: Thanks for the mention of magnesium board. I had never heard of it before.

A Google of it produced a bunch of sites that assume one knows what it is, but the wikipedia page mentions it can be used in lieu of gypsum/sheetrock/drywall.

I notice the wikipedia page says: "Presently MgO board is widely used in Asia as a primary construction material." Is it widely available in Thailand, and how does it compare to gypsum board pricewise? Is it finished off just like gypsum, i.e. if I decided to use it for ceilings, would my local ceiling guy know how to do the seams and edgework?

And a final question: Am I correct in assuming that your recommendation of it is based upon the fact that it is termite-resistant (termite-proof) versus the standard gypsum board that they munch right through?

Magnesium board cost 3-4 times gypsum. It is waterproof and flameproof and can be sawcut like timber. You cannot apply water-based paint on to its surface. Use oil paint instead, or use laminate.

Gypsum board is just compressed paper mixed with white cement, and readily attacked by termites in moist condition.

#7 trogers

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Posted 2009-07-18 00:05:02

Get pest control in to spray the condo every 6 months.

What would their visit entail? Just spraying on exposed surfaces? (i.e. Something I could do myself.)

I believe that with houses, an exterminator would inject chemicals into the soil and even through the concrete foundation through holes bored for that purpose, but not sure what a bi-annual visit to a condo on the 27th floor would entail.

In a condo, the exterminator will spray along the skirtings, check for hollows in timber door frames, and spray into it, check out suspended ceilings, and planting soil. You can do it yourself if you can get their industrial grade chemical and equipment.

#8 Goinghomesoon

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Posted 2009-07-21 10:22:56

We had termites in our 16th floor rental. We think they were in some new skirting boards that were put in when the unit was renovated, as very shortly afterwards we started hearing munching sounds at night in the area where the new boards were placed. When the unit was treated we & our pet had to move out for 5 days as our employer was concerned about the health effects of the chemicals used, some of which had been banned in Australia for a number of years. If you have small children or pets they are more likely to be down low on the floors and can more easily come into contact with chemical residue. If that's the case with you just be a bit careful :)





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