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Q. What's the difference between TERM Barriers and the waterproofing we use today?

A: Not much.  The key differences are:

  • TERM’s waterproofing sealant installs and performs the same as it always has, but it has been upgraded to act as a non-chemical physical termite barrier.
  • The biggest difference: It is necessary to seal the entire horizontal surface. Termites and other insects enter through slab joints, cracks, and penetrations.  Underslab vapor barriers provide neither waterproofing nor a termite barrier.  Underslab waterproofing has become common on commercial construction projects in recent years; TERM Underslab Barrier provides this full waterproofing, along with integrated physical termite barrier.
  • There are several other termite specific details, including:
TERM Underslab Barrier

TERM® Underslab Barrier

TERM™ Penetration Sealant Barrier Installation TERM™ Bath Trap Screen Barrier TERM Flashing and Sill Plate TERM Particle Barrier
Slab penetrations
must be sealed
Mop sinks and bath traps
have added termite barrier
Termite and moisture
resistant sill barrier
Termite and moisture
resistant flashing
Exposed concrete perimeters
must add termite barrier
TERM Sealant Barrier TERM Bath Trap Barrier TERM Sill Barrier TERM Flashing Barrier TERM Particle Barrier
None of these details add significantly to the project cost.

Q: My state requires termite pretreatment before construction. If I build using TERM Barriers, am I still required to have a chemical termite pretreatment prior to construction?
A: The short answer is that you probably will.  Many states have historically serious problems with subterranean termite destruction.  As a result, many states have in place rigorous and conservative qualifications for defining what constitutes an “acceptable termite pretreatment”.  Thus TERM is being offered as a supplemental pretreatment until such time as regulators deem it acceptable. Also, note that incorporating a partial TERM Barrier into a structure will provide only partial exclusion of termites and pests.  TERM Barriers only exclude termites from the portions of the structure where TERM has been directly, and correctly, applied. Even with the requirement for a chemical pretreatment, there should remain a significant long-term reduction in the need for pesticides during the life of the structure.

Q: Is TERM a Termite Shield?

A: Termite shields are a long-established means of helping to exclude termites.  Termites can’t chew through metal, so they must divert their path in the search for entry to the structure.  A properly installed termite shield forces the termites to go outside the structure where they can be seen by an experienced pest management professional.

So, TERM is similar to a termite shield in that termites cannot penetrate a structure where TERM has been properly placed and installed.

Termite shields have seams and penetrations where termites can penetrate; these gaps should be sealed with TERM Sealant Barrier, as shown in the above photo taken during construction of a home in the New Orleans area.

TERM Sill Barrier

Q: What does TERM stand for?
A: The “T” stands of course for “termite barrier”.  The “E” stands for “energy leak barrier” The “R” stands for “radioactive radon barrier”.  And the “M” stands for “moisture and water barrier”.  All four of these properties contribute to sustainable construction.

Q: What does it cost to add TERM to a structure?

A: Refer to this page for more information to help with estimating the cost.

“How much does it cost” is a really tough question. Let’s start with a generalization, and then go to some specific areas:

TERM was designed with the concept that the termite barrier should be integrated with waterproofing materials already in use.  Polyguard produces a wide range of building envelope materials which seal out water and seal off energy leaks.  The goal, which is now achieved, is to use the same materials to also seal out termites from the structure.

Having achieved that goal, we can state that, wherever the building envelope uses the widely accepted “peel and stick” materials using asphalt modified polymers are being used – in other words the type of waterproofing which Polyguard has been supplying, the addition of TERM Barriers to the project should only cause a slight to moderate increase in project cost.

Having said that, there could be a significant increase in the cost of protection underneath the slab.  Underslab vapor barriers are inexpensive to buy and they install fast and easily.  However, in higher-end projects, full underslab waterproofing is being adopted.  This is because the severe abuse of concrete slab construction puts thousands of punctures in vapor barriers, which reduces their effectiveness.  The punctures may each be small – but they are big enough for termites to get through.  (Also remember that termites chew through plastic

Anyway, if you are one of those who have already moved to full underslab waterproofing, the incremental cost of TERM Underslab Barrier should be moderate.

Comments on the most significant TERM commercial applications are below. 

TERM Underslab Water|Termite Barrier TERM Water|Termite Barrier TERM Sill Moisture|Termite Barrier
Installed by: Waterproofers Installed by: Waterproofers Installed by: 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 the 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
Installed by: Framers Installed by: Pest Management Professionals Installed by: 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

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