It is well known that termites are particularly small sized insects that can enter homes through the tiniest hairline cracks and crevices found on the foundations of houses. Most modern housing foundations are built with concrete, but it does not take long before concrete foundations develop tiny cracks, making homes more vulnerable to termite infestations. While concrete may be an imperfect material for foundation construction, new homes are usually treated with termiticide barriers that block subterranean termites from entering a property. It should come as no surprise to learn that the majority of termite infestations occur within older houses that have stone, rubble or brick foundations. Older foundations made of these materials provide a plethora of access points for subterranean termites, and very few older homes are protected with termiticide or physical barriers to keep termites at bay. In some cases, the crevices between stones in older foundations were not filled with mortar during construction, and even if they were, mortar deteriorates quickly. When pest control professionals address termite infestations in older homes with these troubled foundations, they often resort to mechanical alterations that make homes less vulnerable to termite attacks.
In the pest control industry, “mechanical alterations” often entail foundation repairs that keep insects from entering houses. When it comes to termites, mechanical alterations can be as simple as applying sealant to foundation cracks, or as involved as installing physical termite barriers along the sides and/or beneath a compromised foundation. Some older foundations where numerous cracks are present also pose the extra problem of exposed floor joists. Floor joists are the most important structural feature of timber framed houses, and unfortunately, termites are often found damaging floor joists within infested houses. When floor joists are found exposed and located close to soil, soil around the foundation may have to be moved to prevent termites from easily accessing floor joists. In these cases, termiticides are often applied to soil as well, but care is taken to prevent the chemicals from seeping indoors. If floor joists are already damaged or infested, new floor joists made of treated wood should be installed as soon as possible.
Do you live in an older home that you think may be particularly vulnerable to termite infestations?