Termite Traps

I recently sent a Tweet about a beautiful planter I saw that was just completed.  Unfortunately, the planter was placed against the stone veneer on the house.  The planter was at least 1 foot above the floor level and just soil was placed against the stone.  By code, all soil should be 8” below the floor level unless a moisture barrier is erected to protect the house.  That works for non-masonry walls.  Masonry walls (stucco included) should have weeps at the bottom for moisture to escape.  Placing the planter in front does not allow the moisture to escape and will more than likely introduce more moisture into the structure.

This is a recipe for disaster in Austin.  The planter extends out past the roof line and there are no gutters.  In a significant rain event the planter will fill with water from the roof.  Or the owner may just put too much water into the planter.  Either way the water first wants to go into the house through cracks in the mortar.

Having a planter that holds water presents a perfect place for termites to hide and take their time to burrow through the cracks in the mortar and feast on the wall studs.

While a planter with beautiful plants may look great, think twice about placing it above the floor level against the house..