Anti-Termite Treatment for Different Types of Buildings
(Residential or Commercial Construction)
How to Treat Different Components of a Building
If your visiting my blog you probably already have an idea of how much damage termites can cause. They are a threat to any type of wood and more… from your homes structure to the contents inside. They will just as happily expand their colony into your walls, cabinet, or even that old rocking chair or guitar or base ball bat passed from your family. Of course prevention is much cheaper than attempting to eradicate termites after the fact. Complete anti-termite proofing actually starts with the construction of a house or structure but many people are not very aware of this. However before we dig into that let’s quickly review the two main types of termites. As Sun Tzu recommended in The Art of War, “Know Your Enemy.”
The main two categories of termite prevention can be divvied up into two phases. The anti-termite treatment conducted prior to construction and that done after construction. Most people are only acquainted with the type of termite treatments performed years after the typical house is built, but we will cover both here since they are closely related.
Pre-Construction Anti-Termite Treatment
Although this is not true in all places of the world, many developed countries where termites are common now incorporate termite treatment strategies into the construction of new structures. Construction companies and contractors accomplish this by three pain steps.
1. Preparation of the Site: This first step involves removing existing wood, mulch, stumps, logs, roots or other cellulose containing materials from the projected foundation or construction site prior to the main excavation. Termites feed on the cellulose in wood based material so by removing these types of items you are essentially removing their food source.
If any significantly sized termite colonies are detected during this phase then termite specific pesticides should be applied to the colony or mound.
Typically these termite insecticides will come in concentrated forms to be mixed with water. Holes can be thrust into the mound via a crowbar or drilled out with a drill and then the solution should be poured in.
Some chemicals commonly used for this purpose around the world (This will vary from country to country) include BHC, Aldrin, Heptachlor, Chlordane, and DDT.
2. Soil Termiticide Treatment: Treating soil with termite deterring or killing chemicals is actually a step of site preparation but is a bit different from removing cellulose containing materials from the excavation site.
Typically this step involves digging a trench around the perimeter of the foundation and then applying a chemical and water emulsion to the soil in the trench as it is filled back up via some type of sprayer.
This essentially creates a chemical barrier to keep subterranean termites from getting to the house from under the soil. For this step again, it depends on your local, state, and national laws for what pesticides may be used. Some examples of chemicals used for trench termite barriers are Aldrex, Aldrin, Heptachlor, Chlordane.
Aldrex works great for this because it lasts for years after it is applied to the soil because it is insoluble with water. Many other termeticides will dissolve with water so are not ideal for termite trenching.
The termiticide and water emulsion is typically applied to the following areas.
- 30cm from the bottom of the foundation pits and 30cm to the sides of the foundation.
- 30cm out to the earth refill around the foundation walls.
- The surface of soil directly below the floor slab should also be treated prior to pouring the concrete for the floor.
3. Creating Structural Barriers: The third way to incorporate termite proofing into the pre construction portion of a structure is to emplace an physical barrier that termites cannot penetrate. Typically these barriers are either a galvanized steel barrier or a concrete layer a few inches thick. These barrier are only effective until the material begins to degrade which does happen over time especially with the sheet metal.
Post Construction Anti-Termite Treatment
Post construction anti-termite treatment is exactly what it sounds like, termite treatment conducted after the completion of the construction. This typically consists of reapplying termeticides to the soil around the foundation a floor slab of a structure after a long enough period of time has lapsed in which the chemicals barrier in the soil has broken down.
The amount of it takes for the chemical barriers to become ineffective depends on the size or your foundation, size of the original termite trench/barrier, the type of chemical used, the drainage of the soil, the amount of precipitation in the area, amongst other factors. It is best to have a thorough termite inspection conducted at least annually, some places at high risk for termite infestation should have a complete termite inspection conducted bi-annually.
The above measure are the ideal way to prevent termites, by using pro-active prevention strategies. However, many home owners and businesses are forced to take a reactionary termite treatment strategy upon discovery of signs of termites.