The Myths of Spray Foam Insulation and Termites
Hot, humid climates are ideal for spray foam and termites alike. One is a great asset and the other is a burden we can certainly do with out. Pest management companies have been on a rampage spreading misinformation regarding the relationship between spray foam and termites. We’re here to debunk these myths to arm you with the facts you need to make an informed decision.
MYTH 1: TERMITES ARE ATTRACTED TO SPRAY FOAM
Spray foam is neither a food source nor attractant for termites. Cellulose, termite’s main appeal, is not an ingredient present in spray foam of any kind. Termites consume the wood components of homes, so their damage lies below the surface of spray foam, not within it. Treat the framing of your home with a termite pretreatment and these issues are less likely to creep up.
MYTH 2: SPRAY FOAM VOIDS TERMITE WARRANTIES
Termite warranties on homes with spray foam are voided at a pest control company’s discretion, sometimes leaving homeowners they’ve provided service to for ages without coverage. Spray foam provides no more visual blocking during the termite inspection process than does drywall, paint slabs, or cladding. Energy One America adheres to building code requirements that call for a 3″ termite inspection gap in all crawlspace environments to allow for regular inspections. Although we will inform you if we see termite damage prior to installing spray foam insulation, it is up to pest control companies, not insulation contractors, to regularly and accurately inspect for termite intrusion.
MYTH 3: SPRAY FOAM INHIBITS THE ABILITY TO DETECT TERMITES
This isn’t supported by various manufacturers of alternative detection devices (sonar, infrared, canine, etc) which aid termite management companies in detection where visual inspection is not possible. Isn’t it more likely that spray foam is used as a scapegoat here because alternative detection devices are more costly, time consuming, and require a skilled professional to detect termites? The spray foam industry continues to adapt the continual need to make homes tighter and more energy efficient. Isn’t it only fair that the pest control industry should be expected to do the same?
MYTH 4: TERMITE INSPECTORS MUST REMOVE SPRAY FOAM TO CHECK FOR INTRUSION
Inspections occur at various points of the home; they’re not limited to areas with spray foam and much of the inspection occurs outside the home. Any good inspector will be able to visually detect intrusion. Activity can also be found in areas with spray foam insulation using a sharp poking tool to find affected areas—no removal needed. Only once termite invasion is apparent would the discussion of spray foam removal be necessary.
Spray foam contractors and pest management companies can coexist and even benefit from each other in the construction industry as long as we look at each other as partners, not competitors. Should you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Energy One America—we always strive to provide the resources you need to make an informed decision.