A metal termite shield is designed to create a barrier that subterranean termites cannot penetrate and find difficult to go around to get into a home. Should termites build mud tubes on or around the shield, the termites’ mud tubes will be noticeable. In this way, the shield forces termites to leave signs of activity where a trained professional can easily see them.
During the construction of a home, a termite shield may be installed near pipes, wooden piers or the foundation. Essentially, the termite shield will serve as a barrier in between your home and possible subterranean termite entry points.
With a correctly installed termite shield, foundation cracks and gaps should not exist. The metal termite shield should be wide enough to cap the foundation or wall so termites cannot enter your home through any crevices. The shield should extend at least two inches out from the foundation wall and bend down at a 45-degree angle.
Properly installed termite shields are 18 inches above ground. Shields are not intended for slab-on-ground construction.
Where Are Termite Shields Effective?
To be effective, all gaps in the metal shield must be sealed. In a termite shield, cracks or gaps are akin to rolling out a welcome mat to invite termites into your home.
A termite shield only deters termites from entering the structure above its location. Termites can still enter the house through cracks in the foundation or around plumbing that enters the house. These cracks and crevices need to be sealed and regularly checked for settling or adjustments.
Because subterranean termites are more common in warmer climates, termite shields are more common in southern U.S. states than northern states.