TERM® and the Building Envelope

Termite and pest exclusion is about the building envelope

Termites and other pests find their way into the building from the outside.  And they penetrate through the building envelope.

Water enters the building envelope through cracks, joints, or gaps in the envelope sealant.  Insects enter the same as water.

Insects are foraging, looking around to find a way inside.  They are searching for a warm and dry place to live, protected from predators, with food nearby.  Most buildings fill all three of these insect needs, and thus present an attractive target.

Termites, however, are a special problem.  According to Pest Control Technology Magazine, termites cause $5 billion per year in damage across the US.   http://www.pctonline.com/article/pct0215-annual-termite-damage-quest  Here are the reasons:

  • If termites can't find an entry point, they chew their way in. Subterranean termites can chew through most construction materials.
  • Termites are one of the smallest insects on Earth.  They only need about a 1/50th inch (0.51 mm) opening to enter a structure.
TERM™ Foundation Barrier - How Pests Enter Your Structure
  • Lastly, if you live in warm and moist climates where Formosan termites (Coptotermes formosanus) reside, you will find one or more Formosan colonies around most buildings. Colonies have 1,000,000 termites. 
    Outside of Formosan termite areas, the most common subterranean termite is the Eastern subterranean (Reticulitermes flavipes).  Their colonies house about 10,000.

Subterranean termites, as their name implies, mostly come from underground through cracks, joints, penetrations, or other gaps in the concrete slab.  They also emerge from below ground and build protective “mud tubes” up the sides of exposed concrete perimeters.

Termite control is no longer just the job of pest control operators

Pest control operators have historically performed preconstruction termite treatment by applying termiticides underneath the slab and at penetrations and bath traps. With the development of TERM Barriers, sustainable termite exclusion is built into the structure.

TERM Barriers are mostly installed by construction trades such as waterproofers, framers, and masons.

Pest control operators can install some non-chemical TERM barriers, such as plumbing penetrations and bath traps.

Since most TERM Barriers use materials already familiar to the construction trades, the appropriate trade should perform the installation.

See the next section for more detail.

Termite Control Barriers

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

Most of the difference is in the sealant, an 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 Underslab Barrier TERM Foundation Barrier TERM Sill Barrier
TERM Underslab Barrier TERM Foundation Barrier TERM Sill Barrier
Trade: Waterproofers Trade: Waterproofers Trade: Framers
Installation: Identical to Polyguard Underseal Installation: Identical to Polyguard 650 and other conventional peel and stick waterproofing. Installation: TERM Sill Barrier is a peel and stick, and covers not only the top of the sill, but onto the slab.
TERM Flashing Barrier
TERM Sealant Barrier (@slab penetrations) TERM Sill Barrier
TERM Flashing Barrier TERM Sealant Barrier TERM Barrier Installation
Trade: Framers Trade: Pest Management Professionals Trade: Pest Management Professional
Installation: Identical to Polyguard and other peel
and stick flashings
Installation: Sealing of slab penetrations is new to
PMPs, but the application is quite simple.
Installation: TERM All Pest Bath Trap Barrier (shown) is a 5 step process performed in an area which has historically been ignored.