Preconstruction Termite Control
Termite damage is costly and is seldom covered by homeowner's insurance. Because they live within walls and furniture, many homeowners do not recognize infestations until they are fully mature. Mature colonies require constant feeding and can inflict damage every day that they are left undetected. For these reasons, it is highly advisable to engage in preconstruction termite control when building a home or other structure.
There are several guidelines builders can follow during pre-construction to help reduce these conditions, including:
- Limit wood-to-soil contact by supporting wood with a concrete base.
- If wood must touch soil, use pressure-treated or termite-resistant wood.
- Do not bury cellulose materials (e.g. termite food sources like wood) at the building site, including underneath front porches.
- Slope soil away from the foundation to create proper drainage.
- Provide adequate ventilation in crawlspaces to help reduce moisture build-up.
- Keep wood in crawlspaces at least 18 inches aboveground to avoid soil contact.
- Install siding at least six inches above the soil to reduce entry points.
In areas where subterranean termite damage is common, builders may incorporate termite prevention and control methods. Builders may regularly use the following techniques:
- Treat the layer of soil beneath a home with termiticide to offer proactive protection.
- Install a particle barrier made from sand or basaltic rock to help reduce access.
- Incorporate stainless steel mesh barriers or termite shields around the foundation and utility openings to help block entry points.
- Install termite bait and monitoring systems to check for activity.
Building code requirements for termite treatment for new construction outline which control methods should be used in areas where subterranean termite infestations are common. However, if you are building a custom home, you should discuss termite control for new construction with your builder.
One popular preconstruction termite treatment is the use of termite-resistant wood. Resinous woods are naturally termite resistant, and some other woods are chemically injected to deter termites. While no method can guarantee safety against natural pests, termite-resistant wood has been remarkably effective in protecting new homes from infestation for a time.
The creation of barriers surrounding or under a home's foundation may also prove effective. Chemically treated synthetic blocks, insulation or soil are used for this purpose. Liquid residual preconstruction treatments also can be applied to the soil during home construction. They are often applied to soil prior to building slabs being poured. These barriers can be effective in preventing a subterranean termite infestation.
Contact your local pest control professionals to discuss preconstruction termite control methods available to you; the cost incurred by these preventive measures will be minimal in comparison to those potential costs incurred by an infestation.
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Termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in damage each year and most insurance plans don’t cover the damage.
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