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Additional measures include construction techniques that discourage termite attacks, as demonstrated in Figure 4.24. Termites often invade homes by way of the foundation, either by crawling up the exterior surface where their activity is usually obvious or by traveling inside hollow block masonry. One way to deter their activity is to block their access points on or through the foundation. Metal termite shields have been used for decades to deter termite movement along foundation walls and piers on up to the wooden structure. Metal termite shields should extend 2 inches from the foundation and 2 inches down. Improperly installed (i.e., not soldered/sealed properly), damaged, or deteriorated termite shields may allow termites to reach parts of the wooden floor system. Shields should be made of noncorroding metal and have no cracks or gaps along the seams. If a house is being built with metal termite shielding, the shielding should extend at least 2 inches out and 2 inches down at a 45 angle from the foundation wall. An alternative to using termite shields on a hollow-block foundation is to fill the block with concrete or put in a few courses of solid or concrete-filled brick (which is often done anyway to level foundations). These are referred to as masonry caps. The same approach can be used with support piers in the crawl space. Solid caps (i.e., a continuously poured concrete cap) are best at stopping termites, but are not commonly used. Concrete-filled brick caps should deter termite movement or force them through small gaps, thus allowing them to be spotted during an inspection .
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