Continuous Physical Termite Barrier Using No Toxic Materials

Continuous Physical Termite Barrier Using No Toxic Materials

Intent

Providing a low- or non-chemical termite obstruction offers a long-term solution to termite infestation avoidance.

Additional Information/How to Implement

Santa Fe's termite Infestation Probability is "Moderate to Heavy".

Using a foundation termite shield is only one way a builder can effectively combat termite infestation. Following is a breakdown of the homebuilding process and a list of the tactics that can be used in an environmentally-aware fashion to accomplish termite resistance.

 I. Site.

      a.    Selection - termites dislike dry conditions. Choose a site that is well-drained and ventilated.

      b.    Sanitation - the majority of termites that infest homes live underground and food (cellulose in the form of wood, paper, leaves, etc.) stored underground may lead termites to a house. When preparing a site for construction, don't bury vegetation and construction debris. After foundation construction, don't include wood scraps in the backfill.

      c.   Landscaping - Keep homes dry. Slope finish grade away from the house. Keep plantings well away from homes. Roots act as underground bridges through chemical or physical termite barriers. Plants such as shrubs and trees can prevent ventilation to the home and prevent drying after precipitation events.

 II. Design

      a.    Layout - Keep houses dry. Ensure that wood elements are stopped at least 8" above finish grade. Termites can form hills or tubes that extend from the soil to food. Greater clearance between ground and wood elements prevents this situation and allows more time for detection should termites use tubes to reach above-ground food sources. Keep untreated wood away from contact with concrete. Concrete is a good conductor of water and untreated wood in contact with concrete may decay or attract termites.

      b.    Thermal - Termites love moisture and moisture comes from many sources. Proper design of the exterior envelope will prevent condensation from occurring.

      c.   Materials - Areas of the home that are particularly susceptible to moisture, like shower and bath surrounds should not be detailed with cellulose materials. Penetrations through the foundation, walls, and roof are all vulnerable to moisture intrusion and care should be taken to minimize these penetrations. To protect against foundation penetrations, consider using one of new physical barriers in the marketplace. Termiticides bonded between a polymer fabric and a stainless steel mesh small enough to keep out termites are some of the innovations available.

 III. Construction Process

      a.    Material Storage - Keep moisture sensitive materials dry and don't incorporate compromised products into the house. Arrange to have materials delivered as close to the time of installation as practical.

      b.    Flashing - Penetrations through the exterior envelope are particularly vulnerable to moisture intrusion. Properly flash and seal all penetrations to prevent moisture accumulation.

 IV. Post Construction

     a.    Owner Education - Inform homeowners about the value of dry homes and practices they can perform to keep the house free of termites and decay. Describe prevention features of the home and how these features can become compromised.

      b.    Termite Control - Should termites need subsequent control, consider targeted poisons such as baits.

Resources

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