Each year, termites damage tens of thousands of homes across Australia. Well known for their ability to go undetected for years, homeowners often don’t realise they have a termite infestation until visible signs of building damage appear.
Termites are an especially big problem in Queensland, where the humid climate creates ideal conditions for termites to thrive. And more often than not, home insurance won’t cover the costs of termite damage repair.
So—how much to repair termite damage? And what affects the price?
Termite damage repair cost can be broken down into two parts
According to a 2012 industry study commissioned by the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association, the average termite damage repair cost is $10,000 per house.
This cost is made up of two components:
- Termite treatment cost—how much it costs to eradicate the termites. This cost will typically vary according to the scale of the infestation and the type of treatment required.
- Building repair cost—how much it costs to remove and repair damaged parts of the building. Generally speaking, the longer the termites have been in the building, the more extensive the damage will be, and the greater the chance that expensive, structural damage has occurred.
Termite treatment cost
Termite treatment cost typically varies according to the scale of the infestation and the type of treatment required. There are three common termite treatments, including:
Chemical perimeter soil treatments, which are a preventative measure used to deter termites from entering the home in the first place. These typically involve a one-off application, lasting approximately 5-8 years, with yearly inspections to ensure the system is working as expected. Depending on the size of your home, this treatment will usually cost between $2,000 and $3,500 for installation, plus the cost of annual inspections.
Termite monitoring and baiting stations, which are used as both a treatment and preventative measure. These stations contain food (usually timber) to lure termites in, so they can be fed a non-poisonous growth inhibitor to destroy the colony. As the baits require regular maintenance following installation, this treatment can be more expensive than perimeter treatments, costing roughly $2,500 – $3,500 for installation, and between $800 and $900 for yearly maintenance.
Termite dusting, where powder toxic to termites is applied directly onto active ants to kill the termites, and spread the powder throughout the colony. The cost will vary greatly from house to house, but is typically the least expensive option in the short-term, at less than $1,000. As it won’t prevent termites from returning it may be more costly in the longer term.
Termite damage repair cost
Termite damage repair cost will vary greatly according to the area of the home that is affected, and importantly, whether structural damage has occurred.
If the infestation is caught early, and is relatively localised (e.g. the damage is restricted to a drywall, window frame or cabinet), the repair cost may be as little as a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. You—or your local handyman—may even be able to repair the damage yourself.
However, the repair cost can easily escalate to many thousands—if not tens of thousands—of dollars if structural damage to the building’s supports occurs. In this case, the cost will depend upon the materials affected, and the extent to which walls and flooring need to be ripped up to access and repair the damaged areas.
Early detection can save you significant amounts of time and money in the long run
The best way to reduce your termite damage repair cost is to catch the problem early, by organising periodic termite inspections. A termite inspection by a skilled professional typically costs between $250 and $350, much less than the cost of treating a large infestation, or repairing preventable building damage.