One of the best investments in a home is the termite treatment performed at the time the foundation is placed. It is more difficult to treat a home after it is built than during the initial construction, although it is possible. Of course, the initial treatment doesn’t last forever, and it is necessary to have yearly checkups, so maintenance is an important part of keeping termites out.
Termite shields were a long time standard for termite control before homes were regularly treated with chemicals. The concept was very simple; the shields created a barrier through which termites could not pass.
The theory was that the insects could not eat through the galvanized metal and when the shield extended over the foundation block, there was no way for the termites to go around it. Termites do not come out in the light.
Although termite shields probably do help in some instances, it only takes one breach for the termites to bypass the foundation and penetrate into the wood. Any location where one piece of termite shield overlapped another opened up a possibility for the tiny creatures to slide between the overlap and penetrate the wood.
A change in code requirements also changed the effectiveness of termite shields because builders are now required to anchor the floor rim joists to the foundation blocks. This is done with anchor bolts that must pass through the metal.
With many penetrations, it is easy to see that termite shields give little protection. It is best to have a home professionally treated by a pest control provider and keep a termite bond in place for the best defense against subterranean termites.