At one time, masonite sidings were the go-to solution for homeowners. This was largely due to its affordability. However, over time, its lack of durability made some homeowners shy away from it.
Yes, termites do eat masonite sidings. This is because these sidings are made of wood chippings. These chippings are a favorite food for termites and so incidences of termite infestation are common in homes with these sidings. And by eating into the sidings, they usually end up compromising the structural integrity of the sidings.
Here is what you should know about termites and masonite sidings.
Keep moisture from your sidings
Moisture on wood-based sidings is a magnet for termites. They thrive in moist conditions that have a ready supply of food. This is exactly what moist masonite sidings will be providing. Therefore, keeping your sidings dry will go a long way towards discouraging an infestation.
Keep your masonite sidings off the ground
The chances of your masonite sidings getting infested by termites increases if it is in contact with soil. This is so mainly because any ground contact makes it easier for the termites to get a steady supply of what they need to thrive: moisture, food, and shelter.
Therefore, it is always advisable that you at least keep an 18-inch gap between your sidings and soil. Even if you have to dig out the soil near your sidings, doing so will be worth it — in terms of preventing the damaging effects of a termite infestation.
Using borate on your sidings
Instead of trying to deprive the termites of moisture and food, you can simply repel them. Borate is a good termite repellent.
When you arm your sidings with borate, the termites will be discouraged from eating your masonite sidings. And as a result, they will be spared the damaging effects of their infestation.
Invest in high-quality splash blocks, gutters, and downspouts
Rainwater is a common cause of siding termite damage. This is because it tends to soak the sidings with moisture, making them more vulnerable to termite attacks.
When you install splash blocks, gutters, and high-quality downspouts, you will direct water away from your sidings. This added degree of control will reduce the chances of an infestation.
Improve the soil drainage around your house
Poor soil drainage leads to a soil that is excessively moist. This creates a ready supply of moisture around your home. This increases the odds of an attack since termites love moist environments.
Improving soil drainage eliminates constant moisture presence near your masonite sidings. It is thus less encouraging to termites. As a result, it reduces the odds of a termite invasion.
Keep plants and shrubs a safe distance away from your sidings
Some shrubs and plants attract pests and insects like termites. And even if the ones near your home are not attractive to pests, their presence will increase moisture retention near the sidings. They will also provide cover and shade to pests, and this can be very encouraging to termites.
Therefore, regularly trimming plants, trees, and shrubs that are near your home to a point where they are at least 12 inches aways from your sidings will help. It will reduce the moisture content near your sidings. And it will also deny pests and insects the shade that vegetation normally provides.
Painting gives masonite sidings a protective coat. It keeps moisture from soaking the sidings. And by keeping the sidings moisture-free, it makes them less attractive to termites. This is usually enough to shield sidings from termite damage.
How to recognize signs of termite damage?
Termites can be very destructive. They can compromise the integrity of your sidings. And they can cause them to lose their attractive appearance.
Here are the signs that you should look out for if you are trying to determine whether termites are damaging your sidings.
When you see your sidings blistering, termites are likely already feeding on them. The blistering usually happens when they eat out the wood chippings below the surface.
Termites tend to discard their wings right after getting a new colony. Therefore, if you see termite wings on your doors, windows, or next to your masonite sidings, then you likely have a termite problem.
Presence of mud tubes
Some termites prefer underground. These termites tend to create mud tubes in order to maintain optimum traveling conditions. As a result, if you see these mud tubes on your sidings or next to them, chances are that your sidings are being damaged by termites.
Some species of termites periodically kick their droppings out of their tunnels in order to keep their nesting spaces hygienic. These droppings typically present as pellet mounds. Therefore, if you notice these pellets near your sidings, then you likely have a termite infestation.
Most common pests for wood siding, how to handle them?
Wood siding tends to be vulnerable to pest attacks.
If a homeowner’s sidings have fallen victim to a pest infestation, chances are that it is one of the following pests.
- Powder post beetles
- Carpenter bees
Does soil and mulch around the siding attract termites?
Yes, soil and mulch around the siding attract termites.
Having mulch around the sidings creates a moisture problem. It exposes the sidings to moisture over a prolonged period of time, and this encourages termite infestation.
As for soil, it simply makes it easy for the termites to get access to both food, shelter and moisture. It makes it convenient for the termites to feed on the sidings, hence increasing the chances of a termite attack.
What is a better option than masonite siding?
|Vinyl siding||20 - 40 years||$3.5 - $8 per square foot|
|Fiber cement siding||40 - 50 years||$0.7 - $5.25 per square foot|
|Aluminum siding||20 - 40 years||$1.75 - $7 per square foot|
While masonite sidings is incredibly affordable, over the years, it has gained a reputation of not being able to last for long periods.
And when you combine this with its vulnerability to termites and inability to withstand harsh weather conditions, it is rarely worth the initial investment. This is so especially when you consider that there are other affordable and more durable options in the market.
Some of the woods that are naturally resistant to termites include woods from cypress, teak, cedar, mahogany, walnut, Brazilian jatoba, and redwood.
They stopped making masonite siding in March 2001. This was as a result of the lawsuits that resulted from homeowners, and other users, being dissatisfied with the product’s durability and overall quality.
Generally, masonite sidings need to be repainted after every 8 years. This is so as to ensure that the sidings always have a protective coat that shields them from moisture and other weather elements.
No, for as long as there is a constant supply of food and moisture, termites will not go away on their own.
You can treat a house for termites by using any of the following techniques.
- Applying termiticide: Termiticides are chemicals that are designed to kill termites. They can be applied around a home, and when termites eat materials infused with the chemical, they die.
- Using baits: If you don’t want to use chemicals in your home, you have the option of using baits. Placing them around your home will lure foraging termites into eating a slow-acting poison. They will eventually take it to their colony, hence getting rid of the entire colony.
- Taking advantage of nematodes: Nematodes are useful organisms that are great at killing pests. They can kill termites by burrowing into them and poisoning them. Therefore, applying them in the area near your home will definitely help you to get rid of a termite problem.
- Essential oils; Essential oils like neem and orange oil are effective termite killers. And what is great about them is the fact they are a natural solution that does not require the use of dangerous chemicals.