The better option?

Being eco-friendly is doing the least possible harm to nature. It is from this perspective that we need to relook at chemical-based anti-termite treatments available today.

Those who have got buildings done know one thing for sure: it is nearly impossible to walk around the building soon after the anti-termite treatment is over. The strong odour of the chemical can put off anyone. Being poisonous in nature, it is even advised to apply them wearing a face mask. If we imagine the impact of these chemical treatments, we may wonder are they only anti- termite or partly anti-humans too!

Possibly, no building today can claim to be totally eco-friendly, yet there could be many that can claim to be better than others. There are rather too many terms such as Green Buildings, Energy Efficient Structures, Sustainable Designs, and Earth Architecture, each with their specific focus like save power and water; minimise wastage; reduce carbon footprints; or emphasise on local natural materials. The simple term eco-friendly suggests we go beyond mere saving of resources, equally well working towards saving nature. Being eco-friendly is doing the least possible harm to nature. It is from this perspective that we need to relook at chemical-based anti-termite treatments available today.

Foundation level

Anti-termite treatments are done at the foundation level, internal floor level and along the external ground surface. Once the foundation trenches or the column footings are dug out, the liquid is applied to the bottom and sides of the excavated parts. During the floor level, with the earth compacted and before the base concrete for the floor is laid, holes with one inch diameter and up to one ft. depth are created at one ft. spacing. The anti-termite liquid is poured into them, until the hole is completely filled with the liquid.

Before the advent of chemical-based treatments, traditionally, lime water was being poured into the dug out soil to enhance its anti-termite properties. The annual lime wash done in villages even today is believed to discourage termites from climbing up the wall and destroy the wooden members. However, lime has comparatively shorter effective life.

Nowadays, organic compounds like Osolin are available. They are safe for humans, but restrict termite movement. Being herbal in nature with extracts from natural products, using Osolin can reduce the extent of chemical toxicity under our foot.

Majority of chemical anti-termite product manufacturers offer 5 to 10 years of performance assurance, but in case of termite attack routinely escape with some site-specific pretexts. The more damaging is the way they discourage non-chemical based liquids, misleading people, stating that only chemical-based treatments are effective, while the fact could be that both have their limitations in heavily termite-infested soils. The challenge is to reduce both — the termites and also the chemicals.

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Posted on February 16, 2013, in fundamentals and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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