What are Termite Pre-Treatments?
Termite prevention is key to avoid costly structural repairs to most buildings and homes.Most new structures in United States are treated against termites during the initial construction process. These preventative termite treatments are commonly referred to as pre-treatments or “pre-treats.”
A termite pre-treat is intended to create a barrier of termiticide between termites found in the soil and wooden structures of the building. To insure a consistent barrier, termiticide labels recommend the volume, concentration and areas for the application of the termiticide. In effect, large volumes of solution are needed to effectively treat the soil around the foundation walls, support piers and the soil being covered with concrete/slab areas. It is a violation of Federal Pesticide Laws and most State laws to apply termiticides at concentrations and/or volumes less than indicated rate prescribed by the brand label.
The cost of termite pre-treatments have risen significantly over the last 10 years due to an increase in the price of chemicals, labor, insurance and fuel, Treating a 1,500 sq/ft home can cost $200 to $600 in chemical costs alone. Cost can also differ depending on the type of construction materials, soil compaction and foundation.
Types of Pre-Treatments
There are three types of construction with specific pre-treat guidelines:
Poured Slab –A termite technician will measure the area which is to be covered with concrete, including masonry blocks and/or support columns, if applicable. Ideally, the termiticide should be broadcasted before the area is graveled filled and concrete is poured. Most termiticide labels require the application of one gallon of dilute termiticide per 10 square feet of slab area.
If the slab is not treated prior to the concrete pouring, the slab should be drilled adjacent to the foundation/ perimeter, support columns and other critical areas, then treated with the termiticide. Volumes and concentrated vary depending on the termiticide brand, but usually require 2-4 gallons per 10 liner feet.
Crawlspace Foundations -
A termite pre-treat of a crawlspace requires the placement of a continuous chemical barrier on both sides of the foundation. The outside perimeter of the foundation is treated at the footer level. The application rate is usually 4 gallons per 10 linear feet. If the foundation consist of hollow blocks, an additional 2 gallons per 10 linear feet is often required. Other structural elements of the building must also receive treatment in the soil surrounding them - support columns, porches, plumbing penetrations and other critical areas.
Basement Foundations -
A termite pre-treat of a basement requires the placement of a continuous chemical barrier on both sides of the foundation. The treatment guidelines are very close to the “crawlspace” requirements, but extra drilling of masonry voids near the footer are needed. Furthermore, the perimeter of the slab should be drilled every 12 inches and injected with termiticide 2-4 gallons, depending on the brand and/or soil conditions.
[Michigan State University]
Why are Termite Pre-treatment Better?
Properly treated structures are sometimes able to resist termites for a much longer period of time.Some critical areas frequented by termites – plumbing penetrations and masonry voids - are not accessible once construction is completed.The costs of a termite pretreatment are 50-70 percent less than a post-construction treatment.
Termite Pretreatments and New Additions/Structures
It is very important to PRE-TREAT all new construction. New additions to your home, such as - garage and sunrooms - are not protected from termites. Even if the home was treated before, termites can bypass the original termicide and attack the new structure.
[Armaxx Pest Control]
Believe it or not, but swimming pools can be damaged by termites. In fact, termites can get through vinyl swimming pool liners, including PVC piping used in pool installations.Remember: Termite pre-treatments are much cheaper than post construction treatments.
Termite Pretreatment Recommendations
1) Make sure the company performing the work is licensed, insured and bonded.
2) The builder and termite professional should maintain communication during the construction of the foundation. All parties need adequate notice regarding changes in structural elements and soil conditions.
3) Be aware of soil conditions at the job site. Liquid termiticide labels prohibit the application of the product if soils are frozen or saturated.