Termites and other wood eating insects such as carpenter ants can do massive damage to a home and greatly impact its value. In humid areas where termites are a problem, it's not unusual to find many homes that have been virtually hollowed out by termite damage, their wood siding turning to dust at a touch.
How Do I know if My Home Has Termites?
It takes an expert to detect hidden termite damage. During the course of your general home inspection service, we look for signs such as termite tunnels, water penetration, ground clearances between wood and siding materials or decayed wood that would indicate or be conducive to the presence of pests. If we find signs of termite infestation, we recommend that you hire a licensed exterminator who can provide the necessary extermination services.
How Do I Prevent Termite Infestation?
Termites look for habitats that provide food, moisture and shelter close to the ground. Any place where wood meets ground qualifies, especially if the soil in that area stays moist. Correcting this situation may require re-grading to separate soil from any wood around your home. Since mulch and many other landscaping materials cause the soil to remain moist, you should make sure to minimize mulching around your foundation. Some experts recommend mulching no closer than a foot from your home's foundation. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are in good condition and keep moisture from accumulating. You should also make sure to eliminate any moisture problems in and around your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces.
You can also hire professional termite exterminators to apply chemical treatments that protect your home. Be sure to find out how long the treatments last. The chemicals on the market today generally protect your home for up to 5 years.
For additional termite information, read this page on hidden termite damage.