Wood Construction In Basements Make Homes Particularly Vulnerable To Subterranean Termite Infestations

Detecting and eliminating termites within basements is often quite difficult for pest control professionals, especially in basements that contain untreated structural wood, and hollow-block walls. In older basement homes important structural wood components may be located beneath the ground surface where they can be easily accessed by subterranean termites. These important structural wood components include girders, joists and sills, and they often become decayed due to soil moisture, making these wood components even more appetizing to subterranean termites.

Hollow-concrete blocks are commonly used to build basement and foundation walls, and each block contains two or three voids that subterranean termite workers can exploit to reach structural wood. Pest control professionals cannot visually inspect voids in hollow-block walls for the presence of subterranean termite workers, and brick masonry walls are also problematic during inspections, as workers can travel through the dirt sandwiched between two brick walls.

Poured-concrete walls are common in newly constructed homes, and many people incorrectly believe that poured-concrete walls are impenetrable to subterranean termite workers. This belief stems from the fact that poured concrete walls do not contain voids or masonry cracks that provide workers with access to structural wood. However, poured-concrete walls develop cracks overtime due to settling, and workers can easily travel through these cracks. Poured-concrete walls also allow workers to travel through expansion joints, gaps around utility cables, and through dirt voids in cases where two concrete walls are adjacent to one another.

Finished basements may not be as susceptible to subterranean termite infestations as rubble and dirt floor basements, but finished basements are particularly hard to adequately inspect for termites. For example, drywall, paneling and other wall coverings prevent pest control professionals from visually inspecting foundation walls, sill plates, headers and other substructural wood components. In some cases, pest control professionals remove drop-ceiling tiles from finished basements in order to visually inspect structural wood elements in the ceiling where subterranean termite damage is likely to occur.

Have you ever had a termite inspection carried out in your basement?



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