Spring is almost here! This time of year when the weather gets warm, termites can be most active in your home, possibly creating a termite infestation. Termite damage can be a serious problem for homeowners. These small insects can cause significant damage to the structural integrity of a home, and if left untreated, can even lead to the collapse of a building. In fact, termites and fungus create $2 billion worth of damage to homes each year? And, what’s worse is that termite damage repairs are rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance, leading to a costly predicament.
Termites feed on wood and other cellulose-based materials, which makes houses and buildings prime targets for infestation. One of the most significant ways that termites cause damage to homes is by eating away at the wooden structures that make up the foundation and framing of the house. They can also damage walls, floors, and ceilings by eating away at the wood that supports them. In addition, termites can damage the insulation in walls and attics, which can lead to energy inefficiency and higher heating and cooling costs.
When you ignore these pests, keep in mind that a termite colony can consume 16 grams of materials per day – amounting to 13 pounds per year. If you suspect termites have invaded your home, call or contact Eliminate ‘Em for same-day termite pest control service! But for now, we’ll dive into what termite damage looks like and how you can spot it before it causes an annoying (and costly) situation within your home.
What Does Termite Damage Look Like?
Termite damage can be a serious problem for homeowners, as these pests can cause significant structural damage to a house over time. And, one of the biggest challenges is identifying it early on. This is because termites often work behind the scenes, eating away at wood and other building materials without leaving many visible signs of their presence. Here, we’ll explore what termite damage looks like. And, knowing this, you can be better prepared to identify a termite infestation early on.
One of the most common signs of termite damage is sagging floors. This is caused by termites eating away at the support beams and joists that hold up the floor. The damage can often be seen in the form of cracks in the floor or a noticeable sag or bounce in the floor.
Sticking Doors & Windows
Another common sign of termite wood damage is the presence of windows and doors that have begun to stick. Termites can eat away at the wood frames of these openings, causing them to become loose or difficult to open and close. They may also cause the glass to become loose or cracked. These issues can be especially problematic in older homes, as the wood frames may have become dry and brittle over time, making them more vulnerable to termite infestations.
Cracked wood is another common sign of termite damage. Termites often tunnel through wood, and their presence can cause the wood to become weakened and cracked. Termite wood damage can be seen in the form of small, raised lines on the surface of the wood, or in the form of larger, more obvious cracks. The damage can also be seen in the form of wood that is soft or spongy to the touch, which is a sign that the wood has been eaten away by termites.
Pinpoint Holes in Walls
The first thing to look for when trying to identify termite damage is the presence of small, pencil-sized holes in t
he woodwork of your home. These holes are usually the result of termites tunneling through the wood, and they are often the first sign that you have a termite problem.
Other Signs of Termite Damage
In addition to these visible signs of termite damage, homeowners may also experience other issues related to termites. For example, termites can cause a musty odor in the home. They may also make a rustling or clicking sound as they move through the wood. Here are some other examples of what termite damage looks like in a home:
- Hollow sounding wood: Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving a thin outer layer that can be difficult to detect. Listen for a hollow sound when tapping on wood surfaces or look for small holes in the wood.
- Mud tubes: Termites build mud tubes, particularly in your yard, as a way to travel between the ground and the wood they are eating. These tubes can be found on foundations, walls, or other wood surfaces.
- Frass: Frass is the term for termite droppings, which can look like sawdust or wood shavings. It is a sign that termites are present and actively eating wood.
- Paint or wallpaper bubbles: As termites eat away at wood, the surface can start to bulge or blister, causing paint or wallpaper to bubble or crack.
- Cracked or distorted floor tiles: Termites can also damage the subflooring, which can cause the surface flooring to crack or become distorted.
- Mildew smell: A musty or mildew-like odor can indicate the presence of termites. This smell is caused by the moisture that termites bring to the wood they are consuming.
- Presence of swarmers: Termites reproduce by sending out winged reproductives called swarmers. These swarmers can be found in and around a home, particularly in the spring and summer. If you see swarmers inside your home, it’s likely a sure sign that there is a termite infestation.
Different Types of Termite Damage
Additionally, homeowners should note that certain types of termites are known to attack different areas of your home. For example, various termites seek different types of materials, which is typically where they derive their names. Here, we’ll explore what types of damage different termite species may cause to your home.
Subterranean Termite Damage
Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite in the United States and are responsible for the majority of termite-related damage. These termites live in colonies that are located underground, and they tunnel through the soil to reach above ground wooden structures. Because of this behavior, they are known for their ability to cause extensive damage to the structural integrity of a building, causing serious problems if left untreated.
Dampwood Termite Damage
As their name suggests, dampwood termites go after moisture. Because of this, dampwood termite damage is often found in places with a leak, drip, or within rotting wood. These termites are known for their ability to cause dama
ge to wooden structures that are located in areas that are damp or humid, often in places such as the bathroom.
Drywood Termite Damage
Drywood termites are unique in that they live and feed on dry, undecayed wood and do not require contact with the soil. And, because of their smaller colony size, drywood termite damage is typically found in small, localized areas and can be more difficult to detect than damage from subterranean termites.
Formosan Termite Damage
Formosan termites are a highly destructive species of termite that can cause significant damage to homes and other structures. These termites are known for their ability to consume large amounts of wood in a short period of time, and they can quickly weaken the structural integrity of a building. They often enter homes through small cracks in the foundation, and they can quickly spread throughout the entire structure.
Dealing With Termite Damage
It is important to note that termite damage can often be mistaken for other types of damage, such as water damage or rot. This is why it is important to have a professional inspect your home if you suspect that you have a termite problem. A professional will be able to accurately diagnose the problem and provide you with the appropriate treatment options.
And, preventing termite damage is crucial in keeping your home safe from these pests. For example, being aware of what attracts termites, engaging in regular termite inspections, and fixing leaks or moisture issues can help prevent termite infestations.
Sometimes, even with preventative measures taken, termites do find their way into our homes. Luckily, Eliminate ‘Em Pest Control has over 35 years’ experience handling these pests with expert termite control services. At the first sign of termite damage in your home, get professional pest exterminators involved. Eliminate ‘Em’s termite control specialists are on-call 24/7. Contact us today for an estimate!