Today we’re going to talk about termite damage and what to do about termite damage.
What is termite damage? What does it look like? Can it be repaired?
Each year, termites cause significant damage to structures and crops in the United States. Experts estimate that homeowners spend billions of dollars annually to treat infestations and repair termite damage. I don’t want to be flip, dear readers, but the best way to deal with termite damage is to avoid it! Watch for the signs and get regular inspections from a quality, licensed inspector. The interesting thing about damage from termites is that homeowners and property managers seldom see termites. Early detection is the key in limiting the scope of a termite colony’s destructiveness, but it can be difficult to do, which is why you need the help of an expert.
The reason termites are difficult to detect is because they like to lurk in subterranean nests and devour wood from inside walls. There are, of course, ways to detect their presence in walls and other hard to access places, which we’ve talked about in previous posts and rest assured we will talk about again.
But, for the purposes of this post, we are discussing what to do once damage has occurred. Let’s look at some structural elements that are common sites for termite damage and what to do about termite damage when confronting each of them.
Termite Exit Holes
When a colony matures and produces reproductive termites, workers create small holes to allow them to exit. Locating these holes can assist in identifying the location of a termite infestation. Repairing them involves scraping the upper, infested wooden surface away with a chisel. The scraped site needs sanding to create a smooth surface. Then, strengthen the site with wood fillers. Polish again to ensure that the fillers remain secured in their position. Wood fillers and finishing products come with easy-to-follow instructions that can make the process doable even for the unhandy.
Termite Droppings (Frass)
Termites love the damp wood found in basements and tunnels, which is why termites are often discovered either within basements or emerging from them. In a most unmannerly fashion, termites defecate where they eat. Their tunnels are created using their feces, or frass, as part of the building material for the tubes they build. We have to face this ugly truth dear readers.
Speaking of frass, those mysterious piles of pellets you my have noticed are indicative of drywood termite presence. Here’s another tidbit of termite trivia you could probably live without: Drywood frass can be different colors, depending on the color of the wood termites have been eating and, as if that were not enough, all drywood droppings are six-sided. Don’t ask.
Termite Structural Damage
Sagging floors and ceilings result from both subterranean and drywood termite infestations. In the event of more severe infestations, wooden surfaces may become so compromised that they buckle or collapse. Contrary to popular belief, termites are not partial to aging wooden structures; they have been known to inhabit new buildings within a short time after construction. Unfortunately, structural failure due to termite damage is not at all uncommon.
Laminate Floor Damage
Termites can damage the underlying flooring of laminate. Damage caused to laminate flooring by termite infestations can appear similar to typical water damage. Laminate will blister and sag in affected areas. Termites have even been known to chew through the laminate and create small holes. When addressing damage like this, it is often necessary to rip up old laminate and lay new flooring. Not for the unhandy.
Termite Ceiling Damage
Damage caused to ceilings by termites commonly resembles light water damage. Affected ceilings buckle and sag. Repairing termite ceiling damage depends upon the level of infestation and the materials with which your ceiling was constructed. However, the first visible signs of termite damage often indicate full-scale infestations and can require expensive replacement.
Subterranean termites are the most common variety in California and and are responsible for the majority of damage to structures. Almost any exposed wood or gap underground can allow these termites to cause significant damage to a foundation, which will require installing supports and replacing blocks. This work will require a professional. As noted earlier, worker termites also build tunnels from mud, saliva and feces, which they use to travel to above-ground food sources.
If termites have already damaged your home, you’re going to need wood repair services from the team at Hi-Tech Termite Control. People often don’t know they are dealing with an infestation until after the pests have already started to cause damage to the home. In your time of need, you deserve to have an expert who specializes in repairing the destruction caused by household pests.
If you have an infestation, we’re here to help. Based upon the nature and extent of termite infestation, Hi-Tech’s advanced technology could be your answer! We proudly provide service throughout Southern California, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County — call today to get started!