At any given time, there are more termites in Charlotte than there are people. Charlotte’s Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) Zone rating is high and the city is dealing with a massive termite invasion. Particular construction methods commonly utilized in the region increase the vulnerability of residential homes and may be adding to Charlotte’s termite problem.
The TIP Zones
What’s a TIP Zone? A TIP Zone is based on calculations and studies from the US Forest Service. TIP Zones are used to calculate the potential for termite damage in a geographical area and to determine what is needed to protect homes. The International Code Council uses this zone information to figure out code requirements for the prevention of termites. TIP Zone information is also used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create mortgage loan underwriting requirements.
Charlotte is located in TIP Zone #2, which means that its termite population is moderate to heavy, and thus, a significant issue for homeowners. This is a huge concern, considering that termites cause over $5 billion in damage to homes and businesses every year, according to the National Pest Management Association. This is more than fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes combined. Additionally, there are a certain types of Charlotte construction that make this area uniquely vulnerable to termites.
Termite Prone Types of Charlotte Construction
There are certain kinds of home construction found in Charlotte that are prone to termite issues, and because of Charlotte’s high TIP Zone rating, more termite control measures are required in the building codes.
According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, there are several types of construction concerns found in Charlotte homes. One concern is the concrete slab, which rests on soil (LINK: http://www.ncagr.gov/SPCAP/structural/pubs/preconstruction.htm). Usually, over time, a slab will slowly move away from the foundation wall. This allows termites to infest the above wooden structure. In general, concrete slabs give the termite population many places through which to enter the home, such as through plumbing outlets or construction joints. In cases like these, the soil surrounding the slab must be treated for termites.
Homes with a crawl space are also particularly vulnerable to termite pressure. If the foundational voids and spaces are found close to known termite activity, they must be treated accordingly. The side walls of porches that are within three feet of structural wood or a foundation wall must also be treated or drilled. (LINK: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/termites/#chemical).
Before purchasing a home, it is a good idea to have a termite inspection. If you already own a home, taking preventative measures is essential. These precautionary measures can save you money in the future. Call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection.