Termites are a prime concern in certain parts of the country. In these areas, most homes are protected with termite control barriers to prevent a termite infestation. These barriers tend to work very effectively, at least when they are not disrupted. Yet when these barriers are disturbed by flooding, pest control can become a concern. Termite control services recommend that anyone who has experienced flooding call them to have their home assessed, since additional termite control may be required to prevent post-flood infestation.
How Termite Barriers Work
There are two types of termite barriers used in areas prone to termite infestation during home construction: chemical barriers and physical barriers. Chemical termite barriers involve the application of a termiticide to the ground on which a home will be built, creating a barrier that will keep termites away from the foundation. Physical termite barriers are usually a combination of a concrete slab and fine metal mesh, both of which are installed under the home to prevent termites from accessing the foundation.
How Flooding Affects Termite Barriers
Whether used alone or together, the methods referenced above work well in preventing subterranean termites from burrowing underground and accessing a home’s foundation. Still, if flooding were to occur, it can drastically change the effectiveness of these barriers, reducing the protection they offer and making additional termite control efforts necessary. Following are some of the ways these barriers can be affected:
- Chemical Termite Barriers - Although most termiticides can withstand some moisture in the soil without being washed away, the saturation and water movement that occurs with heavy flooding often washes the treatment away.
- Physical Termite Barriers - Physical termite barriers may or may not be affected by flooding, but they are susceptible to cracks if there is major soil shifting or rusting when there has been a lot of moisture in the soil.
Both types of termite control barriers can be disrupted or damaged if any construction, home repair, or even landscaping work is done after a flood. All of these conditions increase the possibility that termites will be able to get around barriers and access the home, eventually infesting it.
What Should Homeowners Do After A Flood?
The best advice for homeowners concerning termite and pest control with either type of barrier is to contact their local termite control services to assess the home for any damage to termite barriers. Depending upon the extent of damage and whether chemical barriers have been washed away, barriers can be repaired or reapplied to prevent future termite infestations. There are many homeowner insurance policies that cover this issue and will cover the cost of termite control services provided there is already a termite rider in place on the policy.
No homeowner wants to deal with a termite infestation, especially when dealing with a flood. The best way to prevent potential termite control problems is to have homes carefully inspected by experienced termite control services once the waters recede and the ground begins to dry out. Before giving termites a chance to access a home and create an even bigger problem, prompt assessment and repair of pest control barriers is the best defense!