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Take your building envelope sustainability up a notch

With increasing sophistication of the building envelope, homes are better sealed against moisture and energy leaks. 

Now you can add long term, non-chemical insect exclusion to your new home by using TERM® Sustainable Insect Barrier as the building envelope. Residential grade TERM Barriers block moisture and termites with continuous above slab and partial above ground barriers. TERM Barriers protect against moisture and energy leaks, plus provide a physical barrier, containing no pesticides, which is classified by the EPA as a “device”. Because TERM is built in during construction, almost every insect entry point around the home will be blocked.

TERM Sustainable Insect Barriers were developed over 17 years of testing with entomology scientists at Texas A&M and other major universities. TERM Barriers have been developed by Polyguard Products, a manufacturer of waterproofing and energy saving products since 1952. Polyguard materials protect homes, hospitals, stadiums, office buildings, and other major structures across the country and around the world.

Plumbing Penetrations

Bath Traps

Sill Plate (Exterior)

Sill Plate Interior

Base Flashing

Seam & Window Flashing

Weep Holes

Flooring Underlayment

Cold Joint

Apply Particle Barrier to Exterior Perimeter

TERM materials are familiar to those who design and install building envelopes.

Most of the difference is in the sealant, and upgraded waterproofing sealant, which after 18 years of university testing, has demonstrated the ability to be a non-chemical barrier to termites. Some examples are below:

- TERM Sealant Barrier seals moisture out and saves energy. Additionally, it seals out subterranean termites and other insects, using a proprietary non-chemical formulation proven by long and short term laboratory and field university tests since 1999.

- TERM Particle Barrier are highly specialized stone particles, of a size and shape proven by 60 years of U.S. and international testing to block passage by subterranean termites. This specialized stone termite barrier has been used since the 1980’s in construction across the Pacific Rim, including Hawaii and Australia.

- TERM Micromesh Barrier are specialized screens. Screening used around most structures today excludes many insects, but not smaller species. The most invasive and destructive insects, subterranean termites, require screen apertures no larger than 0.018” (1/55th inch).

TERM Underslab Water|Termite Barrier TERM Water|Termite Barrier TERM Sill Moisture|Termite Barrier
TERM Underslab Barrier TERM Foundation Barrier img TERM Sill Barrier img
Trade: Waterproofers Trade: Waterproofers Trade: Framers
If you currently specify…… If you currently specify…… If you currently specify……
Full underslab waterproofing: cost will increase moderately

Underslab vapor barrier: you will add several dollars per ft2 of the slab footprint

Peel and stick foundation waterproofing: cost will increase slightly

Dampproofing only: costs will increase by several dollars per ft2 of foundation wall

Foam energy seal: costs will increase by at least $1/LF of perimeter
TERM Flashing Moisture|Termite Barrier
TERM Water|Termite Sealant Barrier TERM Bath Trap Barrier
TERM Flashing Barrier img TERM Sealant Barrier img
Trade: Framers Trade: Pest Management Professionals Trade: Pest Management Professional
If you currently specify…… If you currently specify…… If you currently specify……

Peel and stick flashing: costs will increase slightly

Heavy termiticide treatment (which is typical): this will add several dollars per penetration Termiticide treatment: this will add perhaps $100/bath trap

Excluding underground insects requires 100% horizontal coverage with barriers

Non-chemical insect exclusion involves recognizing that ground level slabs or floors contain a multitude of entry points for insects coming from underground.  Insect exclusion starts with 100% insect barrier coverage of the ground level horizontal surface, as well as underground walls. Almost all of these surfaces must be sealed.  Other areas, generally limited to drainage or ventilation exclude insects using screen or particle barriers.

Excluding insects from aboveground entry requires attention to every joint, seam, crack, and crevice

Many sheathing materials are available which are resistant to penetration by insects and termites.  If you design using one of these, the insect exclusion problem is reduced to protecting the many joints, seams, cracks, crevices, and penetrations.

Step by step – a home with slab on grade construction

The following section shows the sequence of construction for a TERM Barrier System with slab on grade. Graphics and photographic examples of each barrier are included.

At the end of the TERM Barrier construction sequence, there is information showing:

What trade installs each barrier?

Will construction be disrupted?

How much training is needed?

TERM Barriers are designed to fit today’s construction practices and trades, thus minimizing disruption.  Several of the barriers will be installed by Pest Management Professionals.  But for the most part, the trades who install TERM Barriers will be the same who install today’s materials.  And most of the barrier materials will be familiar to the installing trade, with no additional training needed.

TERM® Construction Sequence

1 - Seal Plumbing Penetrations

Plumbing Penetrations

Seal plumbing penetrations after slab pour with TERM Sealant Barrier.
Slab penetrations are a major entry point for subterranean termites.


Hospital in Okemah, OK
Hospital - Okemah OK

Insect Barrier Installation
Bank - Austin TX

2 - Bath Trap Barrier - Partial / Full

Bath Traps

Bath Trap / Mop Sink options:

  • TERM Particle Barrier only - excludes subterranean termites
  • TERM All Pest Barrier + Particle Barrier - excludes virtually everything


Partial Bath Trap Installation
Partial Barrier - Particle Barrier only
The New American Remodeled Home 2017 - Orlando FL

All Pest Bath Trap
Full Barrier - All Pest Bath Trap
Residence - Houston TX

3 - Sill Plate - Perimeter

Sill Plate (Exterior)

TERM Sill Plate Barrier at perimeter-block subterranean termites from sill plate access

  • Also blocks moisture in concrete from the wood sill plate
  • Ties into exterior flashing to:
    • Block energy leaks
    • Block pest entry from exterior (between uneven slab and sill underside)


Sill Plate Installation
Residence - Metairie LA

Sill Plate Installation
Residence - Decatur GA

4- Sill Plate - Interior

Sill Plate Interior

TERM Sill Plate Barrier under interior sill plates - block entry of subterranean termites through cracks, joints, seams, and crevices in the slab

  • Also protects wood sill plates from moisture in concrete


Sill Plate Interior Installation
Residence - Decatur GA

Sill Plate Interior Installation
Residence - Metairie LA

5 - Base Flashing Barrier

Base Flashing

TERM Flashing Barrier at base ties into TERM Sill Plate Barrier at perimeter to block entry of subterranean termites and other insects from entry through the exterior.

Also blocks energy leaks and moisture from the exterior.


Base Flashing
Residence - Denton TX

Base Flashing
Residence - Denton TX

6 - Seam & Window Flashing Barrier

Seam & Window Flashing

TERM Seam and Window Flashing Barrier blocks insects and subterranean termites from entry at these points

Also blocks entry of swarming termites (flying termites who fly seasonally in warm and wet weather to form new above ground colonies)


Termite Swarm

Seasonal Termite Swarming
Seasonal termite swarming

TERM® Seam and Window BarrierResidence - Houston TX

7 - Masonry Weep and Vent Barrier

Weep Holes

Weep and vent holes in masonry construction typically incorporate screens which exclude many insects.  TERM Weep and Vent Barrier incorporates screen with 0.018” apertures, the size needed to exclude subterranean termites


Masonry Weep and Vent Barriers
Residence - Ennis TX




8 - Flooring Underlayment Barriers

Flooring Underlayment

Tile Flooring Underlayment Barrier 

- Completes the 100% horizontal coverage against termite/insect entry through joints, cracks, etc.
- incorporates all other tile flooring properties (moisture barrier, anti-fracture, and sound deadening)

Wood or Laminate Floor Underlayment Barrier

- Incorporates moisture barrier and sound deadening.  Sealant self-heals nail holes.


TNAH TERM™ Tile Underlayment Barrier
Tile Underlayment Barrier installed
The New American Home 2017 - Orlando FL

TERM Anti-Fracture Membrane
Tile Floor installed over underlayment barrier
The New American Home 2017 - Orlando FL

9 - Cold Joint / Isolation Joint Barrier

Step 9 - Cold Joint

Cold joints (also called isolation joints) are non-moving joints between the structure’s slab and exterior concrete.  Examples are driveways, sidewalks, and patios.

TERM Isolation Joint Barrier seals the gap between interior and exterior slabs.


TERM™ Isolation Joint Barrier
Isolation Joint Barrier shown before concrete work
The New American Home 2017 - Orlando, FL

Isolation Joint Barrier after concrete work
Isolation Joint Barrier shown after concrete work and before form removal / landscaping.
The New American Home 2017 - Orlando, FL

10- Particle Barrier at Exposed Concrete Perimeter

Apply Particle Barrier to Exterior Perimeter

At exposed concrete perimeter areas TERM Particle Barrier blocks subterranean termites from building “mud tubes” up the exterior concrete face.

Particle Barrier must be inspected periodically and restored as necessary by Pest Management Professional. The barrier can be breached by pets, children playing, landscaping, construction activities, etc.

TERM Particle Barrier treatment can be applied to existing, as well as new structures.


Perimeter Wedge Trench
Install a 4" wide wedge shaped trench

TERM Particle Barrier - Wylie TX Residence
Residence - Wylie, TX

TERM® Silver Barrier - Construction

Who? When? Training?

Construction Window AfterConstruction Window BeforeTERM Barrier MaterialLocation of InstallNormal TradeTraining Needed/Notes
Slab Ready for TrafficFraming (preferred) Drywall (possible)TERM Sealant BarrierSlab PenetrationsPest Management ProfessionalLow
Slab Ready for TrafficBathtubTERM Particle BarrierBath Traps and Mop SinksPest Management ProfessionalLow
Slab Ready for TrafficPerimeter framingTERM Sill Plate Barrier - PerimeterPerimeter framingPest Management Professional or FramerModerate
Perimeter framingInterior Sill PlatesTERM Sill Plate - InteriorInterior framingFramerLow to Moderate
After rough plumbingBathtubTERM All Pest Bath Trap BarrierBath Traps and Mop SinksPest Management ProfessionalModerate
After exterior sheathingWindow installationTERM Flashing Barrier / TERM Seam and Window BarrierBase Flashing, sheathing seams, window openingsFramerLow
During masonryDuring masonryTERM Weep and Vent BarrierWeep / Vent AreasMasonLow
Interior ready for flooringBefore FlooringTERM Tile Underlayment Barrier
TERM Wood & Laminate Underlayment Barrier
FlooringFlooringTile: Low where anti-fracture membrane is used Wood/Laminate: Moderate
--Exterior concrete placementTERM Isolation BarrierBetween exterior concrete (driveway, patio, sidewalks)ConcreteLow to Moderate
Landscaping--TERM Particle BarrierExposed concrete perimeterPest Management ProfessionalModerate