You build your dream house with so much attention to detail and you definitely do not intend termites to ruin your home. They can be your worst nightmares and they just do not damage the structure of your house but they destroy your dream of a “perfect house”. They cause a damage of hundreds and thousands of dollars and sometimes, they do the permanent damage to the foundations of your house. We intend to save your house from these house peace-killers. This article is a systematic guide to help you to protect your property from termites throughout the construction process.
What are termites?
Termites are tiny insect that usually live below the ground in the form of colonies. One colony of these insects comprises of hundreds to thousands of termites. They feed on dead plants, wood, and trees. However, they eat everything made from wood that includes paper as well as cardboard. Therefore, they are a potential threat to everything made of wood in your house including your furniture, doors, cupboards, etc.
The question under discussion how do they get to your property even at the very first place. As mentioned, termites feed on wood and require moist conditions to survive. Concisely, where there is wood, moist and warmth, there are termites. Termites mostly enter your houses from the basements and foundations.
You can always check for locations of insufficient grading while your property is under construction. As, these areas allow the puddles to form closer to the foundation. First thing first, always keep an eye on the common construction conditions around the property. As the termites need warm conditions to grow so they usually swarm after winters so it is always better to watch out for the warm places around the property.
Property basement protection techniques
Basaltic Termite Barrier (BTB)
This barrier consists of tiny rock particles packed very tightly under the house. In this way, this barrier stops the termite colonies to grow even at the very first place.
This is another barrier comprising a stainless steel screen. The sheet has tiny holes that do not allow the termites to pass through them. This sheet can be used for problematic areas like cold joints in concrete.
Termite resistant foundations
Termites cannot get through the concrete foundations if there are no cracks, but the problem arises when crack start to appear after some time as they usually develop in bricks and concrete foundations. It should be kept in mind to have a capping of at least four inches of solid concrete to block the termites from entering. It is highly recommended to use the following material during the construction to prevent the termites from entering your property:
- Steel frames
- Pressure-treated wood
- Termite resistant heartwood
Above-mentioned barriers are non-chemical barriers used to control termites from growing in the foundations of your property. You can also choose to opt for a chemical barrier which is a polymer sheet saturated with termiticide. This sheet is installed in the foundations during the construction. It doubles the protection of your property with the added chemicals.
Having a shrubbery around the house does add to the overall beauty of the property but it should not be close to the house. Rather, there must a gap of 12-inches between the shrubbery and the exterior of your house. A neatly trimmed shrubbery allows a natural airflow to dry out the damp areas around the corner.
In order to protect your property from termites, you can use pine needles instead of mulch. Subterranean termites do not infest through pine needles. Another reason for using pine needles is that they attract other insects like ants to nest in. In this way, termites can be kept away by minimizing the environment for them. You can also use any other non-organic material like pea gravel as a barrier.
Even if the foundations are already laid without following any of the above methods, do not worry as your property can still be treated for termites after the construction. The chemicals are injected by drilling holes at the walls and floor junctions.
Boric Acid Paint or Liquid Termiticide
The boric acid solution can be painted on the walls of the house after construction to keep the termites away from the property. You can apply the liquid or repellant termiticide all over the structure, wooden cabinets, doors of the building to restrict the termites’ access to your house.
Some other factors should be kept in mind to save your property from termites:
- Make sure that soil-to-wood contact is zero to a minimum around your property.
- Try to keep your foundation clear from all kinds of wood, paper, cardboard, mulch, plants, and lumber.
- A four-inch barrier is necessary between the mulch and your property.
- The best way to prevent termites is to keep the plants away a few feet from the property.
- The water drains should not be near the foundations.
- The soil around the property should not be overly moist. It is better to opt for an effective soil drainage system.
- The drainage system of the house should be unbroken without any blocked lines or leakage. There should not be any broken pipe inside or around the property.
- The direction of the water sprinklers should be away from the house. It allows you to prevent subterranean termites from attacking your property.
To be on the safer side, you can hire a consultant to inspect the location of the property. The soil experts can provide an insight report of the ground conditions of the property. All the protective measures should be taken during the construction of the house. Moreover, regular inspection is also equally important even after implementing all the protective measures. Our first priority is to build a house that lasts for a long time so protective barriers should be installed in the foundations. You can save your property from termites with pre and post construction termites’ prevention techniques and regular inspection.