A properly installed termite shield can help alert you to termites trying to enter your home.
A termite shield (strip of sheet metal running along the foundation, pipes and/or piers of a home) is installed during new home construction. It should extend out two inches and bend down at a 45-degree angle from the foundation, wall or pier. To function properly, it also must be tightly sealed, with any gaps in the shield being welded or bonded together. Any points where bolts penetrate the shield itself must be sealed with roofing sealant or another sealant.
What Is a Termite Shield Made of?
Termite shields must be made of durable metals that are not susceptible to corrosion. Common termite shield materials include galvanized steel, galvanized iron, copper, zincanneal steel or aluminum alloy.
Steel and iron are coated with zinc in the galvanization process. Galvanized metal is better able to withstand exposure to water and air without rusting.
When copper is exposed to water and air, its outer layer turns a greenish color. This outer layer is a patina, a filmy layer caused by oxidation, and it protects the copper sheet from further corrosion.
How Do Termite Shields Fit into a Termite Protection Plan?
Regardless of the material used, a termite shield must be properly installed to effectively force termites to build mud tubes in more visible locations. If there are gaps or cracks, termites will find other locations to squeeze into your home – and these entry points may not be as noticeable as termite shields.
While a termite shield is one tool that homeowners can use to help identify a termite infestation, it merely serves to highlight signs of activity. Termite shields should not be the sole prevention or defense technique used in your termite prevention plan.
Even if your home has a termite shield, termites can build around the shield or enter your home through cracks in the foundation that are below the shield. Regular termite inspections by a trained expert are important to detect warning signs of an infestation and protect your home.