Termite Structural Damage
In the quest for termite control, structural damage is something most homeowners don’t even want to think about. Because termites tend to do their damage in places that are out of sight and out of main traffic ways, fixing the damage they’ve done can be difficult and expensive. Not to mention the fact that a lot of damage can be done before you even know there’s a problem.
Drywood termites do the most damage. These are pests that actually take up residence in the wood of your home, feeding off it and burrowing through it in intricate channels that lead back to the termite nests and mounds as they do so. Drywood termites are what most people think of when they think of having a termite problem, though they are actually less common than some other types of pest.
Because drywood termites like to live in dark and quiet places, they tend to do damage in places away from human eyes. This can include furniture stored in an attic, unused or little-used decks, and wooden parts of your walls behind the panels you can see.
Because termites eat at wood slowly, they can do a lot of damage before you find out there’s a problem. It’s often not until a homeowner finds little piles of sawdust in unusual locations or part of the home is actually destroyed that he knows termites have invaded. However, the slow speed of termite damage can actually work in your favor, too. Once you realize you have a problem, you have plenty of time to interview possible exterminators and get some quotes before you have to choose a course of treatment.
Treating Structural Damage
Once you know you have structural damage to your home, your attack should be two-pronged. You’ll need to get rid of your termites, and you’ll also need to repair the damage. Unfortunately, these are usually two separate processes. You’ll probably need to hire an extermination company to get rid of the pests and a contractor to repair the damage.
The most common method of treating drywood termites is fumigation. If your exterminator determines this is the best route for your home, you will be asked to vacate the premises for up to 48 hours. You’ll need to take your family, any pets, and any house plants with you, as the treatment can be toxic for these.
Once you’re gone, the extermination company will cover your house in tarps and pump in a gas that is toxic to the termites. Once this is complete, they will uncover your home and air it out. Over the next week or so, your termites will die.
Then it’s time to fix any damage. Hire a contractor experienced in dealing with termite damage so you can be sure to find all of the problem areas and get them under control. Make sure to get quotes from several contractors, if at all possible, so you can compare prices and get the best deal possible. Only work with someone you trust, keeping in mind that this may not be the person with the lowest quote.
If you’re afraid your home has suffered termite structural damage in spite of your efforts at termite control, have a professional evaluation done today. This will help you not only assess any damage, but determine the type of termite invading your home and what needs to be done to control the problem. Once you’ve had this done, you’ll be in a good position to not only repair the damage, but to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.