Raised ceiling panels for termite area - styrofoam?

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Old 08-31-17, 03:09 AM
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Raised ceiling panels for termite area - styrofoam?

I'm working on a house in central america, where termites are everywhere.

When I started, one of the first things that I had to do was throw out a bunch of termite-infested, paper-based raised ceiling panels.

I figured that I would buy some styrofoam panels and thus make the raised ceiling immune to termite attack, but having read about termite attacks on styrofoam insulation, I'm not so sure. On the other hand, the data on termite attack on styrofoam is for styrofoam used to insulate foundations. The termites tunnel through it to reach wood, but do not seem to eat the foam itself.

Here are the material choices that I see:

- Styrofoam (cheap, lightweight)
- Drywall with decorative coating - paper is termite food
- Plaster - weight > mechanical strength. sags over time - had to throw some of these out too
- Plycem (fiber cement) - made from portland cement and cellulose. termites love cellulose

Am I missing something here. Does anyone know if there is real-world data on the health of styrofoam raised ceiling panels in termiteland?
 
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Old 08-31-17, 07:12 AM
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I was told years ago that when you don't know which one to pick, try the cheapest way first. That would be the stryofoam. I'll be speaking to my brother later who lived in that climate for many years. He may know something about it.
 
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Old 08-31-17, 12:30 PM
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My experience is from subterranean termites here in Pennsylvania. I’ve known of termites to chew through styrofoam, as you pointed out, in order to find wood or other cellulose containing product. I’ve also known of them to chew through drywall for the same reason. Here are some links that I’ve found concerning borate treated styrofoam, though none of them appear to have ceiling panels per se. There are other companies, these are two of them. I searched for “borate treated styrofoam”. Possibly try “termite resistant styrofoam” as well. I have experience with Nisus corp and they are reputable and make good products. Good customer support too. Hope this helps.

.BORA-FOAM® » Nisus Corp

http://www.achfoam.com/ACH/media/ACH...-Bulletins.pdf
 

Last edited by PAbugman; 08-31-17 at 12:32 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 08-31-17, 06:13 PM
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Get a real termite treatment and no more termites.
 
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