Cryptically destructive, subterranean termites require perpetual available water. Provisioning moisture requires termites to maintain soil contact. Generally, wood that is infested and attacked is within soil proximity.Shelter tubes are constructed to bridge soil to wood distances and as protection against environmental antagonists (especially desiccation). Shelter tubes readily allow structural ingress leading to latent, and sometimes significant, structural damage. The following areas are structural points of cryptic ingress.
1. Foundation cracks and gaps create soil to sill points of ingress.2. Contacting sub-slab soil, support posts through concrete are points of ingress.3. Contacting sub-slab soil fill, wood-framing members are points of ingress.4. Subsidizing termite food supplies, form boards are points of ingress.5. Plumbing leaks (such as leaking faucets) provide sustained soil moisture, inviting termite pressure and ingress.6. Vent airflow blocked by vegetation increases relative humidity and available water in crawlspaces, which invites termite pressure and ingress.7. Debris supports termite pressure and facilitates superstructure ingress.8. By maintaining warmth, heating systems accelerate development of termite pressures and their ingress.9. Soil to wood contact due to a shallow foundation wall allows termite ingress (repetitive addition oftopsoil brings grade to sill level).10. Soil to wood contact due to a low footing allows termite ingress (8 inches of unsoiled concrete).11. Stucco is layered over concrete foundation or the stucco to foundation bond fails, permitting termite ingress.12. Soil to wood termite shelter tubes are masked due to insufficient clearance for visual inspection, allowing termite ingress.13. Crawlspace access with soil to wood contact permits termite ingress.14. Soil to wood contact on the mudsill and/or posts allow termite ingress.15. Soil to wood contact between wood siding and skirting allows termite ingress (a minimum of 3 inches clearance).16. Soil to wood contact of porch steps allows termite ingress.17. Downspouts must carry water away from the structure to prevent termite pressure and ingress.18. Delayed maintenance (soil collecting against pier footing) allows termite ingress.19. Wall girder entering recess and foundation wall (1 inch free air space along perimeter and seal impervious to moisture) to resist termite ingress.20. Lacking good sub structural aeration, vents are located between joists, inviting termite ingress.Citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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