There are many materials that you can choose from when building a home, and many factors that you will have to take into consideration when choosing. One of these factors is termite resistance. While termites can chew through a lot of materials, there are some that can stop them. In this article, we’re going to go over some common housing materials and look at their resistance to termites.
The termite’s diet
It’s well known that termites like to eat wood, but why is that exactly? Termites are attracted to cellulose, which is abundant in wood. However, cellulose can be found in other materials as well, which is why you can sometimes use treated cardboard as bait for a termite infestation. With that being said, what other materials in the home contain cellulose and are thus vulnerable during a termite infestation?
Drywall is usually made out of three layers – two layers of paper encompassing a layer of plaster. Termite workers will be attracted to the paper of the drywall because it contains cellulose. They will eat through this layer, reach the plaster, and usually burrow through to the other side. If they find wood there, they will continue the infestation.
Solid concrete will stop termites fully. However, if the concrete has cracks or breaches in it, the termites will find a way through to the other side, especially if they can sense wood or cellulose there. Once they identify such a breach, they will build mud tunnels through it, which will allow for faster travel and transport from their food source to the nest. This can also happen to similar materials such as mortar, brick and even stucco.
Similarly, termites will not eat through metal, because it does not contain cellulose. However, if there are breaches in the metal, and the breaches lead to wood, the termites will pass through the material, reach the other side, and start consuming the cellulose.
It’s also important to note that termite infestations usually start from beneath the home, where structural wood is uncovered. It’s why creating a chemical barrier of pesticides in the ground itself is so effective at stopping an infestation. If you would like to know more about termite prevention and control, or if you think that your home may be infested, contact us today.