Repairing Termite Damage
Termite Workers (approx. 1/8″ long) are pale, white, soft-bodied insects in a termite colony that do major damage to a building, feeding on wood or almost any product containing cellulose or plant material. Colonies are usually underground where moisture is located. These termites build earthen tubes from the soil to the wood supply and can attack a house over bricks or concrete block foundations. Workers never have wings and rarely venture into the open.
Termite Swarmers (1/2″ long) are the colony reproductives, both female and male. They develop four wings of equal length and fly from the colony to mate and start new infestations. Termite swarmers are easily confused with flying ants. Termite infestations result in costs over $500 million to building owners in the United States each year.
In the spring and sometimes fall, swarmer termites leave their ground nests to start new colonies. These swarmers do not damage wood, only the worker caste does. If you think you have found swarmer termites in your home, retain a few specimens and call your local pest professional.
Subterranean termites are a more common threat to property than tornadoes, lightning, fires, and hurricanes combined. No type of construction is safe from termites. They only need to find a crack about the width of a dime to get in. Subterranean termites are estimated to cost homeowners over $1 billion each year in repairs and treatment. Subterranean termites live in the ground and can travel up to 150 feet or more to find a food source. They do not hibernate and never sleep. They are active all year. The only way to protect your home is through proper professional treatment. Remember, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover termite damage.
Termites eat more than just wood. Termites are found in every U.S. state except Alaska. In fact, there may be several termite colonies in an acre of ground. They eat anything that contains cellulose: books, carpets, drywall, flooring, subfloor, furniture, trim, window frames, and more.
Don’t wait until you see a termite to do anything about it. Because they nest and eat in secret, it’s likely they’ve already caused extensive damage by the time one appears in plain view. Hints of possible infestations include:
- Sagging floors
- Jammed doors or windows
- Cracking paint
- Loose plaster.
Termites can plague a whole neighborhood. If one house in the neighborhood harbors termites, an unprotected home may not be safe. Worker termites forage up to 30 feet or more in the search for new sources of food. And in the spring, swarmers leave a nest by the thousands to establish new colonies. It’s difficult to detect termites until they’ve already invaded your home. A comprehensive prevention plan is your best defense against these relentless intruders.
Many things will affect how your home should be treated for termites. You should have a professional conduct thorough inspection of your home in order to customize a treatment plan for your house. The right professional will diagram your home to show where visible damage may already exist and where treatment is planned. Termite hazards identified should be matched with recommended solutions.
Termites are insects that can wreak havoc in your home. They are tiny but dangerous. The house or structure will not be safe if there are termite infestations. Termites can cause damage to your structural wooden foundation, floor, wooden posts, ceiling, and even your drywall. Termite damage can be hard to detect. It usually starts within the wood, that is why it would look the same outside but the truth is, there is already termite damage within. When we are sick, we find the symptoms and determine our illness. It is the same with termite damage; we need to know the signs so that we can find the proper termite control.
Common Signs of Termite Damage
Some of the signs of termite damage that you should look out for are discolored or sagging sheetrock on the ceilings or walls. The floors are buckling or sagging. The tiles are loose. The hardwood floor pops up. The paint peels easily. Wood crumbles easily. There is a hollow sound when you tap the wood.
Structural Damage from Termites
Damage from termites can range from very minimal to major structural damage. Minor damage would mean a part of the wall is hollow, or there are small holes in wooden furniture or cabinets. The major damage would be the collapsed ceiling or wall. This would mean repair expenses that are why it is crucial to have early detection of termite infestation to minimize the cost of repairing termite damage.
Termite Damage Control Cost
There are two things one has to consider when dealing with the termite damage cost. The primary cost is the damage caused by the wooden furniture and structure. The secondary cost is the treatment of the areas where the nests of the termites are located. Both costs are important because you also need to control the termites so that there would be no further damage to the structure.
The cost of the treatment will be computed based on the area being treated. Chemical or fumigation extermination is more expensive than bait or heat extermination. For larger areas, it would be more expensive and costly. The computation for the cost of the termite damage control cost is based on the suggestion of the National Pest Association Management.
Termite Control Treatment
There are several ways to control termites. There is chemical or fumigation termite control. This is considered the most costly treatment; because the chemicals used here are very expensive. Only an experienced pest controller can do this kind of treatment. The assurance that dry wood termites will be eliminated is high. Aside from the chemical, the wear and tear of the machine used is also included in the cost.
The bait treatment can be done either by a professional pest controller or it can be a do-it-yourself project. Baiting can be a bit cheaper because it may take longer to take effect. The areas of infestation may not be covered thoroughly and would need a repeat of the treatment.
There is also the heat treatment that will drive out the termites. These are some of the termite control you can use to get rid of termites.
Repairing Termite Damage
If the damage caused by the termites is too extensive already, then there are several ways on how to repair the termite damage. The pest controller would need to stop the invasion first. One has to check that the colony has been eliminated to proceed to the next step. It would be useless to replace the wood if the colony of termites is still present. It would just destroy the new wood. The inspector gives the green light for the repair then that is the only time to proceed to the next step.
The worst that could happen is a total demolition of the destroyed parts of the structure. Plumbing and electrical wires may be affected. You will need to turn off or disconnect the utilities in order for you to gain access to the damaged areas. It can really be costly if one has no experience in changing the damaged parts due to the termite infestation.
If the utilities are not affected by the termite damage, then you might just end up changing some of the wooden walls that were affected by the termites. You can just add a new piece of wood next to the damaged wood. The new wood you have put up would serve as support to the structure.
Termite damage is a costly undertaking. One is not sure how big the damage will be. To prevent this from happening, it is advisable that a thorough inspection should be made of the area if there is already suspected termite infestation. If one is already aware of how big the termite damage is, then it is time to think of what will be the best termite control to be used, and how to repair the damage caused by the termites.