Vermin and raised flooring – what you need to know

Pests and vermin are a frequent occurrence in many buildings no matter what anyone may tell you. The simple truth is that in dense urban areas it is inevitable that they will be around. The trick is to keep them out of areas where they can cause damage to property or spread disease and be able to find and evict them quickly and painlessly. We often focus on the technical details of what you need to know when installing a new raised floor and this month we shift that focus on to what to do to keep vermin out of that newly created void space.

Why do vermin like raised floors?

Mice and rats like warm, dry spaces and use them to create their nests. Where raised flooring is used for cabling and ducting or long-term storage they will also be undisturbed – unlike a void space used for ease of access to stored materials and is frequently used. A raised flor offers a great option for them to live in and move around relatively undisturbed.

What damage can they cause?

Rats and mice are known to chew through cables which, left unchecked, can ultimately lead to interruption in electricity in the case of electric cables, or telecommunications in the case of phone and broadband ones.

How do they get in?

Often they move in when they are disturbed elsewhere, for instance if neighbouring sites are being redeveloped. Entry points into buildings will be holes or cracks in external walls or through sewers and drains. They can also travel through pipes or ducts and squeeze in through skirting boards. From here, they will find ways into the raised flooring cavity.

How are they removed?

The best and quickest way to remove them is by getting in the professionals. They will lay humane traps to catch and take them off the premises. They will also have methods to identify where they are – including closed-circuit TV – so that they can keep disruption to a minimum and be able to better target what type of traps to lay and where.

How do I prevent them getting in?

You want to seal off access from the outside as well as possible entryways into the raised flooring cavity. Ways to do this include:

  • Look for and seal any holes in external walls that are larger than 5mm.
  • Check for any doors that have a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Anything larger than 5mm should be closed off; brushstrips can be easily fitted to doors where necessary.
  • Check that internal risers are fully sealed at all entry and exit points.
  • Seal all points where raised floors meet walls or ensure that any gaps are no larger than 5mm if you need regular access to the space below.
  • Inspect skirting boards for any gaps, cracks, or movement from the wall that could create space for vermin to crawl through.
  • Regularly clean the space under your raised floor to discourage the build-up of debris or insects which could attract rats and mice.

For advice and assistance on keeping your raised floors well insulated and sealed from vermin, talk to our flooring experts at Fieldmans Access Floors. We are on the end of the phone on 020 8462 7100 for an informal chat or to make an appointment.