What You Need to Know About Spray Foam Insulation and Termites Before Installation
Dealing with termites in your home can be costly depending on the amount of damage they have done, especially if you live in the southeastern United States where they are a huge problem.
If you’re doing your research online, you could be reading that spray foam insulation could be giving them a place to hide, leaving their damage hidden for years. There are some reports that make it seem like foam insulation can be a food source, but that’s not really the case.
Not everything you read on the Internet is true.
We have dealt with our fair share of pests in homes here at RetroFoam of Michigan, so we know what precautions you need to take to keep them out of your home.
Our mission is to educate homeowners everywhere when it comes to their home’s comfort, as well as peace of mind when it comes to buying home insulation. This includes clearing up any misconceptions that can be found in abundance in online forums.
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on termites and spray foam insulation.
Spray Foam Insulation and Termites
Did you know that improperly installed spray foam in your crawl space can make it difficult to inspect for termites?
Spray foam is a great choice for a homeowner looking to make their home more comfortable and energy efficient, but research is what will end up saving them money in the long-run. This is especially true if they live in the southeast, also known as the “termite belt.”
First and foremost, it’s important to look at your pest control contract before adding spray foam to make sure you are completely covered. In some cases, a pest control company could void the warranty with the addition of foam insulation.
This is because the spray foam installed incorrectly in the crawl space could inadvertently hide the termite damage or the presence of live termites. A good insulation contractor will postpone installation until the infestation is taken care of.
If you believe you have a termite infestation, the first thing you should do before adding insulation to your home is to do a visual inspection or call in the professionals. The good thing about calling in the pros is they have equipment at their disposal and the wherewithal to look in places you might not even consider.
If you are building a new home and live in an area where termites are common, the International Residential Code (IRC) has you covered. The measures for new construction include borate treatment of wood, termiticide application to the surrounding ground area, or termite baiting systems, just to name a few.
If you find that you do have termites in your existing home, then you need to treat this problem before foam insulation is installed. While the foam isn’t a food source and doesn’t attract pests, that doesn’t mean that they can’t burrow and tunnel through it if they’re already present.
Protecting Your Home
A good insulation contractor will know termite damage when they see it and will advise you to wait on the insulation until the termites are done and any structural damage is fixed.
It’s important that you discuss your plans to use foam insulation with your prospective pest management contractor so you are on the same page.
If you want to learn more about termites and foam insulation, check out “Spray Foam Insulation & Termites” by the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.
About Amanda Ringler
Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.