Among the worst nightmares of every house owner, termites can rank pretty high up there. They are annoying little critters that can cause serious structural damage to your house, and they are more common than one might think. In this article, we are going to cover some of the best ways of dealing with them, so let’s get right into it.
Is it Necessary? Finding the Right Termite Solution
Believe it or not, termite attacks are incredibly common. In Australia, 1 out of 5 homes is attacked by termites. This creates a necessity for some form of protection against them. And despite what people may think, steel houses aren’t immune to termites as they still have areas that are vulnerable. There are many different varieties that we will cover in this article, so make sure to pick out the best one for you.
Proper Drainage and Ventilation are Key
Termites can be found in places where there is the largest concentration of moisture. This is why you need to pay special attention to how well-implemented are the drainage and ventilation systems, as they are among the most important facts to take into consideration when starting new construction. Generally, here are some things you can do to improve this:
- Install a drain below the crawl space in order to remove built-up water before the dry-in
- Make sure that the roof is installed properly to avoid any leaks in the future
- Gutters are a good way of avoiding water build-up around the foundation
- If you have any plumbing leaks, fix them immediately
- Make sure that the outdoor porches, window ledges, and passages don’t funnel the water into the building
What best way to deal with termites than dealing with them before they even arrive? You can pretreat the future building by saturating the soil using a spray that contains chemical termiticides. After the chemical has been applied, the construction continues as usual. The benefit of this type of protection is that they protect the entirety of the construction site and, later on, the building as well. It protects the most common entry points like the crawl spaces, the pipes, and the control joints.
The main drawback of pretreatment with termiticides is that it doesn’t last forever. They are effective and cheap but only for a small period of time, according to 2018 Termiticide Efficacy Report, the effectiveness of chemical treatment against termites, can last anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. This creates a major factor of uncertainty which arises due to a combination of factors, ranging from the soil that the chemicals were applied on to the way they were applied. If you opt for this option but suspect termites, don’t think that you are secure because it hasn’t been five years yet. Arrange termite inspection in order to assess the problem and see whether you have termites or not.
Another effective pretreatment is wood treatment. You apply chemical termiticides to the critical points of the wooden structure. A negative aspect of this is that termites still might enter the structure expansion joints or untreated wood. It is important to note that the chemical wood treatment must be done before the installation of sheetrocks and sidings.
Working on the Perimeter
While pretreatment is effective, it has its limits. Once their effective duration has passed, it is time to move on to other solutions for termites. The two most notable solutions for working around the perimeter include covering the area in question with pesticides to create a sort of moat from chemicals protecting your property. The other option is to create bait stations. Bait stations are a notable way of killing termites by exposing them to poisonous chemicals (the chemicals are contained inside of the baits and do not directly affect or hurt the surrounding soil). Bait stations are incredibly effective, as they will scout termites before it’s too late, thus dealing with them. Of course, this does mean that by dealing with some dead termites, you have termites. The next logical step is to take extra precautions on how to deal with the infestation. Bait stations are effective, but they are also more time-consuming, as they require extra inspection and monitoring. The industry is always evolving, so there are constantly new ways of dealing with termites that have yet to be found.
A physical barrier for termites differs from our other solutions as it doesn’t include any pesticide; it is meant to be precisely what it means, a physical barrier for termites that prevents them from burrowing into your house. This is, however, a more expensive solution, as it requires expensive high-grade materials to be used in order to serve as a barrier. The most common and most effective material is stainless steel. Cutting corners with this one will, undoubtedly, bounce back on your head because if you create weak points (which you most likely will), it won’t protect the entire perimeter of the building. Usually, it isn’t even your fault that termites breakthrough. Stainless steel cannot protect every little corner, as post-construction cutouts, cracks, and control joints will all serve as viable entrances for termites.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you are more aware of the problems that termites can cause and how easy (and common) it is for termites to show up. So, don’t wait until it’s too late!