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Rodents. Have they moved into your home yet?

While winter often brings with it gloves and scarfs, it also brings something else. Rodents.

During the colder winter months, rodents such as rats and mice are on the move, often into a nice warm home. If homeowners aren’t careful, before you know it, they will be moving into yours and settling in.

The kitchen and bin areas of the home are high value targets for rats and mice, often providing them with warmth, food and water. While it might be great for them, this is not the case for you. Not only do they transmit diseases and can carry in other vermin such as fleas, ticks and lice; they can also be responsible for structural damage, and have even started fires in the home by chewing through electrical wires. These are problems that can go unchecked.

While having just one rodent doesn’t sound like a serious problem, it can soon become a much larger issue. A mouse’s gestation period is about three weeks long. At the end of these three weeks, they can have a litter of 3 to 14 strong. This can occur 5 to 10 times a year, and their breeding cycle is not limited to a certain season, with breeding occurring through the year.

The following steps are recommended to help prevent picking up an unwanted boarder:

  • Seal cracks and install weather strips at the bottom of exterior doors
  • Trim any branches that overhang the home
  • Plant any vegetation at minimum of 12 inches away from the house
  • Keep the interior of the house clean
  • Store all food, pet food and food scraps or garbage properly in sealed containers
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or pet food out freely overnight

A single mouse in the house can soon become a colony if left unchecked.

How we control ant infestations from the source

Most people think that ant infestations are one of the easier general pest problems to control.  Over the counter, DIY treatments are readily available for consumers but unfortunately they aren’t always effective in managing the problem.

Ants are social critters that live in colonies.  Spraying the ants that you see trailing through your home or garden might kill the visible ones but more often than not the colonies will stick around.  They might even sense the danger and split off into separate colonies making the problem harder for you to control.  You may even risk trapping the ants inside your house if you apply an over the counter barrier on the inside of your home without doing a proper investigation into the problem.

Fortunately, you can avoid these problems and control the ants easily by contacting a professional.  A professional inspector, will be able to pinpoint exactly where the colonies are and eradicate the problem from the root.

Our technicians use a special method which is undetectable by ants.  Rather than using a repellent that ants can sense and learn to stay away from, we use anti-repellent.  Anti-repellent cannot be detected by ants so it is slowly spread to the entire colony, thus eradicating the problem from the source!

If you need help getting the ants out of your pants, give contact APM Solutions via Facebook or at 07 3828 2020 for a FREE quote!

5 things people forget to consider when buying a house

Buying a home can be one of the most exciting, stressful, overwhelming and important moments of someone’s life.  There is often so much involved, people get caught up in the process and lose focus of the important things.  If you’re interested in the buying a home, whether now or in the future, to live in or for investment, make sure you give careful consideration to the following things:

Hidden Costs

When looking for a home, people tend to focus on the price of the house and the amount they can borrow.  Many buyers forget to factor in the additional costs that come up when purchasing a property.  These might include things like:

  • stamp duty
  • agent fees
  • lawyer fees
  • lenders mortgage insurance
  • building and pest inspections

The list could go on!

It is also equally as important to consider the costs that come with owning the home you’re wanting to purchase.  Mortgage repayments are only one aspect.  Things like:

  • Council Rates
  • Utility bills
  • Body corporate fees
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance
  • Renovations etc.

can add up quickly so make sure you take everything into consideration when planning your finances.

What is the neighbourhood like? 

While most people think this is something to do after you move, talking to the neighbours of a property you want to purchase is a great way to get a feel of the area.  You can find out things like:

  •  If there are neighbourhood disputes or everyone gets along
  • Whether it’s relatively noisy or quiet street
  • If there has been any recent crime or if it’s a problem free zone etc.

Location, Location, Location!

Depending on your needs, requirements for location will vary.  Prioritise what’s important to you before you begin looking and have those factors firm in your mind.   How important is its proximity to things like:

  • Shopping centres
  • Grocery stores
  • Cafes
  • Schools
  • Public transport

Is it okay to drive to those areas or do you need to be able to walk?  Is there sufficient parking around the property?   These small factors that are often overlooked can create a lot of difficulty after you move in if not thoroughly considered beforehand.

Cosmetic vs Crucial

Don’t be dissuaded by things like paint colours, décor and simple fittings.  The colour of the rooms can be changed easily but the floor plan can cost tens of thousands in renovation costs.  If the shower fittings aren’t to your liking, that’s okay, but the water pressure available might be harder to change.  Conversely, a home that might look amazing at first glance could still have major problems below the surface.  That is why it is important to get professional inspectors to survey the property before you purchase.  Always make sure to keep an open and mind and a sharp eye when looking for a home.

Timeframes

Once you purchase a home, there is usually a cooling off period of a specified time (usually 5 days).  Within that time there will also be an allocated amount of time to get things done like pre-purchase building and pest inspections, environmental checks, susceptibility to flooding etc.  This is usually around 5-7 days.  Make sure you are aware of these time frames and organise yourself enough time to get the inspection done receive the report and think about your decision or have enough time to do any further investigations if necessary.

How to Avoid Termite Trouble

 

Termites or “white ants” are small insects that can cause quite a bit of grief for home owners. In Australia, there are over 300 species of termites but the Coptotermes is most dangerous in terms of home infestations.

What makes termites dangerous?

Often called the “silent destroyers”, you might be wondering what is it that make these tiny creatures so dangerous to our homes as opposed to other common household pests? The answer to this lies within their eating habits. Termites feed off cellulose, an organic compound found in plants and common human building materials like wood. They prefer eating wood to obtain their nutrients because they can breakdown fibres in wood that other organisms cannot. Thus, providing them with a food source largely overlooked by most species.

People fear them because most don’t realise they have a termite problem until major damage has already been done. Termites love to live in humid and warm places with plenty of wood to eat making most Queensland homes the perfect place for termites to set up camp. As the termites eat away at your home, they can cause serious physical damage that can compromise the integrity of your house and cost thousands in repair work.

How can I prevent termites?

The saying “prevention is better than a cure” couldn’t be more true when it comes to termites. To make sure you never have to feel the fear of a termite infestation, here is a list of things to keep in mind that can help prevent a termite infestation:

Physical Barrier

This is a physical layer of protection between the soil on the ground and your home. Generally, these are made out of a stainless steel mesh so termites have difficulty gaining access to the house. This in conjunction with a concrete slab under the house can help protect your home physically. However, because physical barriers won’t kill any termites that might be living in the soil they are not 100% effective.

Chemical Barrier

This is a chemical treatment put into the soil surrounding a home. While deadly to termites, the chemicals used are completely safe for humans, pets, native animals etc. The chemical barrier is slow acting and spread from one termite to another until the colony is fully eradicated. It is important to keep in mind that there are different chemicals that can be used for this type of barrier and it’s important to speak with a professional to find out what is best for your home.

Wood Waste/ Storage

Never bury or leave wood waste in your yard as it will attract termites. Also, try not to store things like timber or firewood close to your house.

Placement of Mulch

Mulch is like a buffet dinner for termites however is used in most home gardens. Instead of completely getting rid of mulch, be mindful of where you put it. Try not to use it anywhere that is directly adjacent to your home.

Control Leaks

Termites love humid, moist conditions so make sure to fix any leaks around your home and get rid of any stagnant water.

Heavy Plant Growth

Remove any dense plant growth near your house and move it to further away in the yard. The thick vegetation holds large amounts of moisture which will attract termites.

If you think your might have termites or want to prevent them, contact APM Solutions directly on (07) 3828 2020 for a competitive quote on an inspection or treatment.

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Don’t Let Your Home Slip Through the Cracks

For most families, buying a house is one of the biggest financial investments and often takes many years to realise this dream. While it goes without saying that it is essential to choose the right property, often thorough building inspections are overlooked. In fact, issues like cracking in a home have the potential to cause disastrous outcomes for houses and their owners. It can be almost equally alarming to the seller as it is to a potential buyer. Not only can cracking be expensive to fix, but it can also be a big safety concern for anyone wishing to live in the residence.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom.
 The reality is that most houses, even new 
ones, will have some cracks or show signs of cracking. The benefit of early identification and management of these cracks is the increase in safety and value of the property! Below is a brief guide to identify the severity of visible cracking when looking at a property.

Types of Cracks

Hairline Cracks

Hairline cracks are generally less that 0.1mm wide and deemed negligible.

Fine Cracks

These are typically up to 1mm thick and generally have a very slight impact. While they can be noticeable, they usually do not require repair or can be easily treated for aesthetic purposes using normal decoration.

Distinct Cracks

Distinct cracks are between 2 and 5mm thick and may cause doors and windows to stick. Although these have a slight impact, they can be filled easily.

Wide Cracks

If the crack is between 5 and 15mm thick, it is classified as a wide crack and have a moderate level of impact. These can be fixed through brickwork and possibly replacing some parts of the wall. With wide cracks, doors and windows may experience sticking, service pipes may fracture and weather tightness is often impaired.

Extensive Cracks

Extensive cracks are between 15 and 25mm wide and have can have a severe level of impact. Fixing these cracks can require major repair work involving breaking out and/or replacing sections of walls. Door and window frames may appear distorted and floors may noticeably slope. Service pipes will be disrupted, walls may noticeably lean or bulge and there will be some loss of bearing in beams.

Structural Damage

Anything greater than 25mm in width generally means there is structural damage to the building. These may cause the building to be dangerously instable meaning repair work for structural damage can require partial or complete rebuilding. Signs of structural damage include broken windows with distortion, beams experiencing loss of bearing and walls leaning badly.

Using a reputed, proven and thorough building inspection service like APM Solutions will ensure your home conforms to the Building Standards & Tolerances of Queensland. This is beneficial for the following reasons:

  1. Early identification of potential structural issues
  2. Avoiding investing in an unsafe property or one that will require exhausting and expensive repairs
  3. Negotiate for a price that budgets for necessary repairs
  4. Foresee issues that may impact further in the future

Contact APM Solutions directly on (07) 3828 2020 or via email at admin@apmsolutions.com.au for a competitive quote!