How Basement Waterproofing Can Stop Termites

Feb 28, 2011 | termite control

Termites are a menace, and if left unchecked they can do a lot of damage to your home before you even realize that you have an infestation. Once you realize that you have termites there are a number of ways that you can get rid of termites, but an ideal solution would be to just avoid getting termites in the first place. If you have a basement in your home then you might have a perfect environment for an infestation to start. However, you also have a great asset in preventing infestations now or in the future. If you have never considered waterproofing your basement before, you may be surprised to learn that it can greatly reduce your chances of having termites in your house.

There are two main things that termites need to begin an infestation. They have to have a humid environment because they require water, and they need to have an access point so that they can get into that humid environment in the first place. Waterproofing can eliminate both of these requirements at the same time.

Reducing Moisture

Obviously, one of the key goals of waterproofing is to prevent water from getting in to your basement. This doesn’t just mean that it takes care of leaks that are coming in around low windows or major cracks, but also smaller amounts of moisture that may be coming in from the ground itself through fine cracks or porous building materials. Waterproofing provides a seal that shuts off moisture from the outside, keeping it from entering your basement at all. This can provide a number of benefits in addition to simply keeping out termites, as it will also greatly reduce the chance of you having mold or mildew problems and it prevents the damage that water can cause to your basement over time.

Many waterproofing experts will also check your drains for any signs of back-up, which can indicate plumbing problems and also introduce a lot of unwanted moisture into the basement. If you have floor drains or any other drains in your basement that tend to back up during heavy rains or at other times, be sure and let them know so that they can check it out while looking for problem areas.

Eliminating Access

In order for you to have a termite infestation, the termites have to be able to get into your house in the first place. This is usually done through small cracks in your basement walls or flooring which provides them with the access that they need. When you waterproof your basement, these cracks will be filled in and the point of access that the termites have will be sealed off completely. This will include making sure that any caulk or other materials that have been applied to existing cracks is still doing its job, and providing an additional layer of protection to better seal any leaks or access points that the waterproofing crew finds.

Other common access points such as vents, windows, and drains will also be checked and treated during the waterproofing process so that unwanted pests will have to find somewhere else to go for an easy meal. After all, it would be a shame to put so much effort into sealing cracks in your basement wall when you have vents that are wide open to the outside world.

Additional Pest Control Considerations

There are other things that you can do to help ensure that your waterproofing is successful in keeping termites and other pests out of your basement. One of the first things that you should do is to make sure that there are not any wood piles or other plant material piled up next to your house; these can be breeding grounds for termites, and if they’re pressed against your house then they can introduce both moisture and opportunity that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. The same goes for decorative plants such as shrubs; make sure that they’re at least a few inches away from your home, especially if planted in front of a vent that would allow access to your basement. Be careful using mulch next to your house, and if possible make sure that it’s no more than two inches deep and limit the direct contact that it has with the house itself. While these may all seem like fairly simple things, you’d be amazed at the difference that they can make when it comes to undue moisture and unwanted pests being introduced to your basement. Your waterproofing professionals may have additional suggestions on how you can avoid termite infestations as well.

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Craig Elliott
About the Author:

Craig Elliott is a freelance writer who writes about issues pertaining to home maintenance including Pest Control | Termite Control

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