Termites are the most notorious structural pests in the world. Every year the cost of termite damages in America easily surpasses several billions of dollars. Needless to say, but termites need no introduction. Although it is well understood that termites often consume the timber that is used to build people’s homes, there are several other types of home construction materials that termites can easily damage, but not necessarily consume. In the past, this blog has mentioned how termites can damage the last types of materials that you would ever expect to be damaged by tiny insects. For example, past articles have mentioned how most termite species can bypass plaster, insulation and even concrete. Although termites can sometimes penetrate cement in order to reach a food supply, not all types of cement are susceptible to termite damage. Also, the manner in which cement is handled during construction can make it either more or less likely to sustain damage from potential termite infestations. In other words, the question of whether or not termites can penetrate cement cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. In addition to cement, mortar is another material that many homeowners are curious about when it comes to termite damages. Similar to cement, mortar can become damaged by termites as well, but not in all cases.
Although mortar is stronger than cement, termites have been known to penetrate mortar on occasion. That being said, mortar can be challenging for termites to break apart, but lime mortar is easily penetrable. However, mortars that are used and/or made with a hefty amount cement tend to be impervious to termite damages. As for cement, the quality of its composition can influence how susceptible it is to termite attacks. Cements that are not mixed thoroughly or are not properly cured can become damaged by termites. Luckily, if cement is cured to the point where termites cannot remove the sand contained within dried cement, the resulting cement mix will deter termite visitors once it dries.
Have you ever noticed termite damages on a strange material?