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March 7, 2019 8:35 am

John Piper International’s ‘Piperguard’ offers life-long protection from termite attacks

Building a house that can be called their own is the ultimate realization of a life-long dream for many families. It is a long-term investment, no doubt, but stepping into a new, beautiful, colorfully painted house brings boundless joy to a family.

However, pause to ponder on what fundamentally needs to be done to protect your newly-built house on which you invested all your savings. What if the timber structures gradually begin to erode as a result of a ruthless attack by wood-destroying insects common in most parts of Sri Lanka?

Perhaps, a lesser known fact is that wooden structures in a tropical country like Sri Lanka have more than a 70% chance of being attacked by termites within 10 to 20 years. More disturbing is the possibility that termites may even begin attacking the timber structures soon after a new house is constructed.

It has been found that termites, which are wood-destroying insects common in most areas of the country, cause heavy damage annually.

If a house is not adequately protected from a devastating invasion by termites, it translates into reversing the damage done at substantial additional cost as the timber structures may have to be replaced.

What is imperative under the circumstances is to retain the services of a competent termite control company because termite control demands specialized equipment and knowledge available only with professionals. The scientific treatment of the soil beneath and around the foundation with termiticides before construction, called a pre-treatment, reduces the threat of termites.

One of the top professionals in the field of termite control treatment in Sri Lanka is John Piper International (Pvt) Ltd. With its longstanding image of excellence in termite control service, the company has earned recognition and won confidence among architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and building contractors in the construction sector due to its quality service and high technical know-how.

Incorporated in 2000 as a business specializing in termite proofing, the company has already received ISO 9001-2015 International Quality Management System Certification.

 With a franchise from its parent company in the United Kingdom, the board of directors of John Piper International in Sri Lanka, comprises qualified professionals who are the members of Sri Lanka Organization of Agricultural Professionals (SLOAP) and Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA).

The existing superior technical knowledge of John Piper International, with a well trained and well experienced technical staff, have further consolidated the service offered by the company. The key operational team of the company is academically and professionally qualified in the related field and, therefore, the company has been able to create a significant change among its competitors.

Mr. Saman Warusavithana, an agricultural graduate and a specialist in the sphere of termite control treatment, is the Chairman of John Piper International (Pvt) Ltd.

In an interview with The Sunday Island, he highlighted the importance of protecting houses from destructive termites and stressed on the need to ‘nip it in the bud’ by initiating early action to keep the destructive insects at bay before it’s too late.

Offering a valuable insight into the overall process involved in scientifically tackling the grave issue, he explained that none of the modern termiticides last very long in the soil due to their environment-friendly degradation.

Mr. Warusavithana said that termiticides such as DDT, Aldrin and Dialdrin, which were available few years ago, could persist in the soil for a longer period, generally more than 10 years.

“However, these termiticides, which belong to a category of Organo Chlorine (Chlorinated Hydrocarbon) are environmentally hazardous due to its slow degradation and bio accumulation. The Organo Chlorine Termiticides have been banned in many countries and are being phased out in Sri Lanka”, he said.

Chemicals now recommended to control termites cause minimum harm to the environment and human beings. The reason for this is that the chemicals do not last long in the soil. The situation further intensifies with environmental conditions such as high humidity and high temperature prevailing in a humid tropical island like Sri Lanka, the Chairman outlined.

Unlike in countries such as the USA and Australia, which have a different building foundation systems, in Sri Lanka a concrete slab is placed on the ground between the foundation, which help termites to crawl up.

Q: Isn’t the conventional termite control solution in Sri Lanka disadvantageous to customers as it’s relatively a short-term control measure?

Chairman Warusavithana: Yes, it is wholly disadvantageous as the process has to be repeated in the short-term because chemical barriers in the soil created by the termite control process could be depleted from the soil within three to five years. This has created a disadvantageous situation for customers who obtain termite control service.

Chemicals have to be applied to the soil by drilling tiles, granites or timber flooring in the building when obtaining termite control service for an already built house. Most house owners are not in favor of the drilling of flooring, and this has become a challenge for termite control.

Q: How has this challenge been overcome?

Chairman Warusavithana: John Piper International has taken another step forward in the field in overcoming this challenge successfully with the introduction of PIFTRS, a pre-installed flexi tube termiticide re-treatment system titled “Piperguard”.

Most other companies in Sri Lanka offer short-term conventional solutions, but with the ‘Piperguard’  system, it’s an assurance of long-lasting protection for buildings as sub terrain termites are the most destructive.

‘Piperguard’ pre-installed system, awarded the patent certificate in 2008  (Patent No. 15141-IPC) was invented by Mr. Saman Warusavithana.

The ‘Piperguard’ pre-installed flexi tube termiticide re-treatment system was recognized as an important product with a proven track record in the construction industry and honored with an Appreciation Award under the “Product Awards’ category, at the Architects -2019 awards ceremony held at the BMICH on Wednesday.

How does the ‘Piperguard’ basically work? “A network of tubes are used to discharge a calculated amount of chemicals to the right places in the soil as a long-term solution”, the Chairman replied.

“There were some who tried to copy our novel concept by using PVC pipes, rubber hoses and irrigation tubes but failed to get to the target”, he added. “’Piperguard’ remains an innovative, unparalleled solution in the current context”.

That is why ‘Piperguard’ is recommended as the only solution to protect your long-term investment from termites. The re-establishing system is suitable to fix even while the construction work is underway. Once installed, the system can reintroduce termite chemical barriers periodically by lengthening the protection for a lifetime, he assured.

When seeking termite control services for an existing house, the use of recommended chemicals in due quantity and in a correct manner will produce successful results and its essential to select a qualified and suitable termite control service company towards this end, Mr. Warusavithana suggested.

The Chairman further explained that decades ago, say less than 100 years back, natural sand barriers were used to protect buildings from termite attacks. Even in the construction of archaeological sites, the same process was applied during ancient times. Modern-day solutions are chemical barriers at foundation level called ‘anti-termite soil treatment’, he noted.