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What is code for termite protection for new homes in Florida?
Thursday, January 6, 2022
Most of the requirements for termite protection for new construction are in section R318 of the the Florida Building Code. Here’s a summary of key items.
• Termite protection must be provided by registered termiticides, including soil applied pesticides, baiting systems, and pesticides applied to wood, or other approved methods of termite protection labeled for use as a preventative treatment to new construction. (FBC R318.1)
• If soil treatment option is used, then treatment must be done after compaction, any soil disturbed after treatment must be retreated, vapor barrier must be installed under slab, and any concrete over-pour must be removed. (FBC R318.1-5)
• If bait system option is used, a signed contract ensuring continued service of bait system for 5-year period from issuance of Certificate of Occupancy must be provided to building official prior to pouring of slab, and system must be installed prior to final approval. (FBC 318.1.7)
• If wood treatment option is used, application of treatment must be completed per label instructions prior to final building approval. (FBC 318.1.8)
• A Certificate of Compliance shall be issued to the building department by the licensed pest control company that provided the treatment, which contains the following statement: “The building has received a complete treatment for the prevention of subterranean termites. Treatment is in accordance with rules and laws established by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.” (FBC R318.1)
• A consumer notice must be posted inside the home that informs the homeowner of the treatment and need to renew the contract and inspect annually. This is typically placed on door of the electrical panel. (FBC 105.11)
TERMITE RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS
• Bottoms of cells of concrete blocks, and protective sleeves around slab penetrations, must not contain cellulose/wood. (FBC R318.1-2)
• A 6-inch space must be maintained between ground level and siding for future termite inspection. (FBC R318.7)
• Air conditioning condensate drain lines, sprinkler spray heads, and roof downspouts must terminate at least one foot from walls of home. (FBC R318.5)
• Gutters with downspouts are required on all roofs with eaves (roof overhangs) of less than 6 inches, except for gable ends. (FBC R318.5)
• All wood in contact with the ground, embedded in concrete in direct contact with the ground, or embedded in concrete in direct exposure to the weather that supports occupied structures must be pressure-treated with chemicals that deter both wood rot and termites. This typically means wood posts. (FBC 317.1.2)
• The ground surface around a home must drop 6 inches down in the first 10 feet away from the home on all sides (FBC R401.3). Where the house is closer to the property line than 10 feet, or walls or other barriers prevent compliance, drains or swales should be constructed to ensure adequate drainage away from the house. Impervious surfaces within 10 feet of the home, such as a driveway, are required to be sloped a minimum of 2 percent away from the house, which equals approximately 1/4 inch per foot.
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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:
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