The Unquestioned Termite Barrier for ICF Construction
|International Code Council
Termite Barrier System
TERM® Barriers originated as an effort to help the ICF industry.
ICF manufacturers and builders have been good customers for Polyguard since the mid 1990’s.
As an associate member of the now defunct ICFA (Insulated Concrete Forms Association) Polyguard attended the November 1999 ICFA meeting in Chicago. The hot topic at that meeting was the decision by Southern Building Code officials to prohibit below grade ICF foundations “unless they were protected by a termite barrier”.
The ICFA had invited Dr. Roger Gold, Texas A&M’s Endowed Chair of Urban and Structural Entomology, to speak about termites at the meeting. In his speech, Dr. Gold offered to test any materials which members thought might work as a termite barrier.
Weeks later Polyguard met with Texas A&M Entomology scientists. We discussed Polyguard’s building envelope materials, which were widely used in construction to stop moisture and energy leaks. The question was “Could we upgrade Polyguard envelope materials to also stop termite “leaks”?”
Early testing of Polyguard termite barriers was encouraging. This led to a 2002 Southern Building Code evaluation (ES 2136) of Polyguard’s prototype termite barrier, and usage of the Polyguard waterproofing/termite barrier on hundreds of ICF projects across the country.
Fast forward to 2017. Research has continued with termite barriers, plus insect and other pest barriers, at Texas A&M, and now at other major universities. After 17 years of laboratory and field trials, the original SBCCI report, now expired, has been replaced by ICC ESR-3632 Termite Barrier System evaluation.
Polyguard’s barrier is now called TERM Barrier System. TERM is not just a foundation barrier; it now extends around the building envelope. And TERM protects the structure against both termites and a variety of insects and other pests.