Most people start worrying about termites after they have invaded their home, but if you want to save yourself time, money, and peace of mind, you should worry about them long before you have an infestation.
Here are five steps you can take to prevent termites from entering your home in the first place:
Use a Basaltic Termite Barrier
If you are looking to build a home and take some steps to prevent termites from ever entering that home, you need to use a basaltic termite barrier (tightly packed rock particles) underneath it because it is nearly impossible for termites to get through. If this is not possible, you can also use a termite mesh or a concrete foundation to keep the termites away. It is also recommended to use steel frames, pressure-treated wood, or termite-resistant heartwood in the construction process.
Reduce Soil to Wood Contact
Soil touching your home is one of the most common ways termites are able to enter your home. To reduce the chances of this happening, remove all lumber, wood, plants, mulch, paper, and cardboard that are touching the base of your home. Create a four-inch barrier between these materials and your home to make it infinitely more difficult for termites to use as an entryway.
Use Pine Needles Instead of Mulch
Mulch is a material made of decaying leaves, bark, or compost that is used around many homes to prevent weed growth and retain moisture. Yet, mulch is very appetizing to termites, which can make your home more appealing to them. If possible, use pine needles as an alternative because they are significantly less appetizing. If you do not have access to pine needles, you can also utilize pea gravel or any other non-organic material.
Properly Ventilate Your Crawl Space
Having moisture in your crawl space can lead to a whole host of issues, one of which is termite infestation. Termites are attracted to dark, moist areas, so a damp crawl space feels like heaven to them. When building your home, make sure that your crawl space is properly ventilated and has a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from building up. Taking these steps will also prevent any kind of wood-destroying fungus from growing.
Regularly Inspect Your Home For Termites
Prevention significantly reduces the chances of a termite infestation, but if you do not also regularly inspect your home to make sure that those preventive measures are working, you could be unpleasantly surprised. Every six months or so, you should inspect your roof for broken tiles, the beams in your attic for termite damage, your storage boxes for termite droppings, and your pipes for any leaks. Provided that you follow these steps, you should be able to hopefully prevent a termite infestation from the get-go, and even if the termites still find a way in, you will catch it before it becomes a major issue.