For most of us, our homes are the largest financial investment we’ll ever make. Most people don’t realize the termite threat to our biggest investment. In fact, termites cause more damage to homes in the United States than tornadoes, fires and earthquakes combined – over $5 billion annually.
Termites are silent and very difficult to detect. They can eat on the wood in your home for years before you ever know you have a problem. And each year, unfortunate homeowners fork out thousands of dollars to repair termite damage. If you plan to renovate your bathroom and discover termite damage, it will cost you anywhere between $3,500 and $8,000 to make necessary repairs.
And unfortunately, most homeowners’ insurance does not cover the repair costs of any damage caused by termites.
Termites are active all year round. They get in through plumbing or other openings as well as tiny cracks and crevices about 1/64 of an inch. And it doesn’t matter if your home is made of brick, block or stucco, or even built on a concrete slab. Preventive treatment is critical and is recommended because every home is at risk.
Here are several tips to help you identify termite activity in your home:
- Termite Wings: Often present after a swarm, wings are typically found in small piles near window ledges or other light sources.
- Mud Tubes: Made of particles of soil, wood and debris, these allow subterranean termites to reach food sources above ground level.
- Damaged Wood: This can include wood that sounds “hollow” when it is tapped with the handle of a screwdriver or wood that is soft when probed with a sharp object.
- Small Holes or Ripples in Drywall: When termites damage wood within your home, they often create tiny holes in the drywall. Extensive damage to the wood can make the drywall look rippled.
- Pellets: Drywood termites excrete pellets that are kicked out of holes. These pellets often accumulate in piles on window sills, baseboards and under wooden objects.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your home from termites. The financial impact can be devastating.