Spray foam insulation has become very popular in recent years, especially in the Savannah area, because it insulates more efficiently than traditional insulation. Its downside, however, is that it can interfere with termite control and even void termite warranties.
What is spray foam insulation?
Spray foam insulation was developed in the 1940s by the military, which used it in aircraft. Home use started in the 1970s. We see spray foam insulation in Savannah-area houses built in the last 40 years.
Spray foam is typically made out of polyurethane and is sprayed onto a surface, where it expands and hardens. Canned foam sealant, which you may have used to seal holes around a window or door, is very similar to spray foam insulation.
Why does spray foam insulation interfere with termite control?
Spray foam insulation unfortunately provides termites with a dense, spongy place to build their colonies, and it is very easy for them to tunnel through. It does not attract termites, but it does provide them a nice home if they find it. The subterranean termites native to our region find spray foam insulation particularly inviting.
Spray foam can also hinder a termite inspection. Wooden beams covered in spray foam are inaccessible to inspection, which can invalidate a termite warranty. Some spray foam companies will leave a 2- or 3-inch barrier between the insulation and the wooden support structures of a home, which aids in the visibility of the beams, facilitating inspection. Spray foam may be the best thing ever for insulating your property, but it does add risk. Your insulation company cannot provide an official Wood Infestation Report. In Georgia the buyer is responsible for the Wood Infestation Report if required by the lending institution. If this report indicates large areas of the structure inaccessible and not properly inspected, this may cause concern for the lending agency and the loan may not be secured by the property. Traditionally, we have always been able to inspect the crawlspace under the house if applicable and the attic – two primary areas for foam application.
Preferred Pest Control would be glad to inspect your home for termites even if you have spray foam insulation. We can come out, inspect your home for termites and other pests, and discuss options to better serve your termite control needs. Give us a call at 912-236-5135 or click here.