Crawl Space Termite Infestation
Contributing to an astounding 2 billion dollars a year in home damages throughout the US alone, termites are every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Termites can plague nearly any home in any area but tend primarily to reside in more moist regions of the country. This is because homes in more moist regions of the country generally suffer from moisture related problems within their basement or crawl space areas. This moisture can lead to decay and provide a perfect breeding ground for termites, but also other various pests and critters.
If you think about your crawl space (I know, scary thought, huh?), which of course hasn’t been conditioned and insulated properly, then you’ll probably realize that there are exposed pieces of wood lingering about and scattered throughout the area. If you live in a particularly moist area and your crawl space is not properly insulated to protect against the humidity then that vapor can cause wood decay, which is exactly where termites love to live and breed.
The number one contributor to crawl space termite infestation is improper ventilation. When your crawl space is vented to the exterior, as most are, then water vapor is allowed to condense and amass water in puddles over the ground floor. So, what is the most practical solution to avoid this condensation altogether, get rid of water and ultimately decrease the chances of termites infesting your crawl space and home? Of course, there are some very practical tips for reducing the chances of termite infestation. For instance, never store firewood or any types of wood for that matter against the foundation or crawl space. You want to avoid giving termites any reason for living in your home and decreasing their food supply certainly helps. Additionally, many homeowners use excessive mulch for landscaping benefits. Please reduce usage as much as possible as termites are particularly attracted to it because it provides good insulation and is highly moisture retaining.
When you have completed all steps above, consider installing a high retardant vapor barrier liner (experts usually advise using above standard 4 or 6 mil) and sealing the crawl space floors and walls. Installing a sump pump is also beneficial if you do already have accumulated water build up. There are many options of course for insulating your crawl space to protect against termite infestation. Having a contractor do it for you or if you’re a fairly competent do it yourselfer, try using the Your Crawl Space Do It Yourself System, one of the only patented systems for completing the job by yourself.
If you are suffering from significant termite infestation as it stands, please consult with your local pest control company before implementing the above measures. It won’t do very good if you seal your crawl space before extricating the termites, now will it?