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Termite Inspections: When to Get One and How to Prevent Damage to Your Home

Posted in Blog | Termite Inspections on March 4th, 2021 by Ian Stevens

Termite Inspections: When to Get One and How to Prevent Damage to Your Home

It is no secret that termites love wood, and many homes use it either exclusively or in combination with other materials. Homeowners can schedule a regular termite inspection that are designed to address damage before it gets out of control.

Termite damage adds up quickly and causes more than $5 billion in repair costs each year—in the United States alone. Queen termites can lay up to 30,000 eggs a day, so an unchecked colony grows quickly and can cause extensive problems in a short amount of time.

What is a Termite Inspection?

Because termites are difficult to notice from the everyday vantage point, a termite inspection is an in-depth look at the areas that are hard to see.

In reality, two homes can look identical but one may have extensive damage while the other does not. Termites really love to bury themselves in the foundations of the home. This is because they love moisture, and water tends to settle more towards the bottom of any structure.

Another problem area that homeowners won’t be able to see is inside the wall cavities. Termites will build nests in between the walls and eat away at the internal support beams and drywall itself. They can do this for years and years before anyone notices, at which point the damage has been done.

Issues like this can be devastating to a home’s structure and will result in costly repairs or can even make a house unlivable. Because of the severity of this damage, a preventative approach is the best way to go.

During a termite inspection, a termite expert will come to your home and begin looking for signs of damage. They are trained to uncover hidden infestations and will be able to determine next steps.

Inspectors will look for more than just termites—they’ll also search for carpenter bees, ants, and other critters. Because termites enjoy the dark, hard-to-reach spots, the inspection will cover all areas of your home. Make sure to let your inspector know about any issues that you’ve noticed.

When Should I Have a Termite Inspection Done?

When Should I Have a Termite Inspection Done

Warmer weather brings termites out to wreak havoc on a home. The transition from winter that brings thawed snow and moist conditions creates an optimal environment for termites to thrive. A single termite colony can have up to 1 million termites and can sustain itself on your home’s wood areas.

We recommend that you have a termite inspection done once per year, and the spring is a great time to do it. If you’ve had any recent water issues you, should also consider calling a termite inspector to make sure the bugs haven’t swarmed to your home. A burst pipe, flooding, or sewage backup can create the humidity that termites love.

Before you sell your home, it’s a good idea to have an inspection done. If the inspector finds any damage, you can take care of it right away. Once you know your home is termite-free, you can entice potential buyers with the results of the inspection.

When you’re not sure whether you have a pest problem, there are a couple of things you can look for. Any of the following issues may be signs of termite damage in your home:

  • Wood rot anywhere (floorboards, support beams, decks, etc.)
  • Tiny insect wings around the house
  • Buckled floorboards or laminate
  • Raised tiles
  • Small holes in the walls/drywall

The main thing is to be vigilant about the state of your home—especially when you have lots of wood materials for termites to feed on.

Once a termite colony has infiltrated an area, it can continuously cause damage for months or years before you notice anything wrong. By this point, you will probably have extensive repair and extermination costs.

While keeping a watchful eye over your house, there are other things you can do to prevent termite damage.

Preventing Termite Damage

Preventing Termite Damage

When it comes to termite damage, you always want to stop it before it spreads. Colonies can destroy homes quickly if they go unchecked.

Luckily, there are many ways to prevent damage and ensure that your home stays dry and unappealing to termites year-round.

External Prevention Techniques

Make sure that when you water the grass surrounding your home that the moisture isn’t too close to the perimeter. If you’re watering flowerbeds, point the hose directly on the area that needs attention and try not to make the area near the foundation soggy.

You can also make sure to keep paint from peeling and leaving the wood exposed to the elements. Houses that are in a state of disrepair make excellent termite targets. This also includes maintenance on decks, shutters, and any features like wooden chairs or swings.

Even the landscaping can help you prevent termites from infiltrating the home. Maintaining good airflow by trimming overgrown plants ensures that no area of the home gets wet and stays wet for too long. You may look into the best types of landscaping material, as well. For humid climates, mulch might not be the best option.

Internal Prevention Techniques

Again, you’re looking for moisture in the home. The areas where water is likely to accumulate are the ones you need to pay attention to.

Here are some of the areas that commonly cause problems:

  • Faucets, drains, and pipes
  • Cabinets underneath sinks
  • Window panes—especially those that have AC units attached
  • Crawls spaces
  • Basements or cellars
  • Laundry rooms

If you notice issues in any of these areas, let your termite inspector know when they come out to visit.

As you keep an eye out for any peeling paint, bowing floorboards, or damaged drywall, remember that termite damage spreads quickly. With a proactive mindset and a watchful eye, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in repair costs and enjoy the spring season without worrying.

At MD, we pride ourselves on our ability to prevent, identify, and eliminate termite damage. Our professional inspectors have decades of experience and service Maryland, Washington D.C, Delaware, and Northern Virginia. If you are in this region, contact us for an inspection today.