The use
of termites shields
(ant caps) in buildings

Metal barriers or shields consist of sheet metal placed between the foundations of the building and the
main structure.

Many people call these shields - ant caps!

These barriers may be of galvanized steel, sheet copper, stainless steel or other alloys. They are placed on piers, single brick walls and cavity walls with the protruding
metal edge turned down at an angle of no less than 45° from the horizontal. The protruding edge must not be less than 38 mm from the vertical pier or wall.



Where there are joins in the length or mitre-cut shields,
the Australian Standard specifies the manner in which the joins should be soldered. Service ducting and pipes are
also provided with metal sheeting to certain specifications.


These metal barriers were originally considered to prevent termite access from the foundations to the main structure. However, the testing of these does not seem to have been recorded, and it is presumed that such experimental work was not done.

Now it is known that the shields' main value is that of detection rather than protection.

When the shields are properly installed and maintained, subterranean termites must construct their shelter tubes or mud-packing over the edge of the shields to reach the main structure, thus betraying their presence.

Experience and surveys in Australia have revealed that shields are often improperly applied at the time of building and poorly maintained during the service life of a building. Foundations and the areas underneath the home are seldom inspected by homeowners, and in many cases the presence of termite shields gives a false sense of security; occupants may be unaware of the presence of termites until damage, often involving thousands of dollars, is discovered.

Here termites have bridged the termite shields in this home and caused considerble damage
to the rest of the building.

Where termite shields exist, particularly when there has been a termite history in the immediate neighbourhood, properties should be inspected regularly, say every six to twelve months, by a person experienced in termite detection. Few householders possess this perceptive ability for detecting termite activity - even the obvious crossing of termite shields.

Poor subfloor ventilation accompanied by a high level of soil moisture are the forerunners of wood decay and termite attack. Under such conditions termite shields are more
likely to be crossed, even where they have been properly constructed and applied.

During the many termite inspections that Childs Pest Services are asked to carry out, we come across situations in subfloors that are asking for problems with termites.


Here a homeowner "fixed" a sagging floor problem with
a pile of cement, bricks and timber supports.
The initial cause
of problem was a leaking shower recess. See how
the constant moisture has
rotted the bearers.

These were ideal conditions for termites to set up a colony, which they did and caused major damage to this home.


If it has been some time since you have had a
termite inspection carried out to your home,
then consider having one carried out soon!

Don't put it off any longer!

Could you afford the cost of repairs to your home
if it was attacked by termites?

An annual termite inspection is a small price to pay
for protecting your greatest asset!

Call our office to book an inspection TODAY!

Phone Sandy on 45777910

Don't forget we are a PestCert accredited company,
which means that you will receive a service from a
company that cares about your safety and
is operating at the highest levels possible in the pest industry.


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Editor's Note: This material was taken from
"Australian termites and other common timber pests" written by Phillip Hadlington.

Phillip Hadlington is considered to be the expert on termites in the pest industry.

All information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature. For a proper assessment of your own personal situation, please contact our office for a
quote or to book in an inspection.



© 2006 Childs Pest Services Pty Ltd