Paved with good intentions

What do you see in this picture? If you look closely you’ll see a inexperienced termite mans nightmare. The driveway leads to nowhere and that beautiful wall has hidden something only a bug could find now. This home has an enclosed garage and this could mean big trouble somewhere down the road.

It’s not a real common practice but still a lot of people opt to enclose their garage for extra living space. They turn what used to house their cars into game rooms, offices or even a extra bedroom. A great idea to save money but a bug infestation waiting to happen if you don’t take certain steps to stop up the termite entry points.

Take a look at your garage (assuming you haven’t enclosed it) what do you see as you stand at the entry just below your feet. It’s highway 95 for termites in the form of an expansion joint. Where two slabs come together and have that separation. That space is more than enough room for any self respecting termite and for a whole host of other bugs as well.

When you enclose the garage and build new wall over top of this joint you are creating a perfect opportunity for insects to move freely into the wall and back out again in complete secrecy. Later, maybe years from now when the termites swarm out or the pesky wood roaches just won’t seem to go away you may just start seeing the error of your ways.

The solution is pretty simple and it’s best to get it before construction starts. Your termite technician will be glad to come out and drill the slab and pump termiticide into the soil thereby creating a treated zone beneath the joint you are about to encase forever. You may even wish to load the long crack with caulk or cement to aid in this pest prevention and it may also keep moisture from ‘wicking’ up over the years and causing wood rot. One other step I might suggest is to treat the studs with a borate. You’ll never have the chance again like this so it may be worth the few extra dollars and this will help control any wood decaying fungi as well if moisture persists. If the inside of the garage is to be finished as well take a look and see if there are any other expansion joints you will be enclosing. If so then you should repeat the process in those areas as well.

An enclosed garage can add valuable living space to your home that you’ll enjoy for years. If by chance you leave these areas unprotected however, you won’t be the only ones enjoying the room.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Jeff

    This is a VERY common practice in Kansas. I have seen MANY MANY homes where the garage ends up enclosed and turned in to another room. You are right – treatment needs to be done before the construction starts.

  • admin

    Definately a way to enlarge your home at a reduced cost but hardly anyone thinks about it till they find damage. Where I live we don’t have many basements but I’m sure you do. Are you all still drilling the interior foundation walls for that expansion joint? Man, was that ever a lot of work. Give me a monolithic slab anyday.

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