How To Check For Termite Damage In Your Home?

Termites are a common pest that can cause a lot of damage to your home if left untreated. Read on to learn more about How to Check for Termite Damage in Your Home? All About Termites at Home!.

What Causes Termite Infestations?

Closeup worker and soldier termites (Globitermes sulphureus) on wood structure

Termites are among the most prevalent pests that infest homes. They are found in every state and can cause extensive damage to homes and businesses. They are especially problematic because they often go undetected until too late.

These pests are attracted to properties for a few major reasons. The first reason is that the property may have an abundance of moisture. Termites need a lot of moisture in order to survive and will infest a property if they can find it.

The second reason is that the property may be rich in food sources. Termites feast on wood, so you’re more likely to experience an infestation if your home has many wooden features.

Finally, termites may be drawn to your property because of its location. If you live near a wooded area or other places where termites are common, you’re more likely to experience an infestation.

That being said, several things can cause a termite infestation; let us understand these in-depth:

Moisture

When moisture is found near the foundation of a house, it’s important to check for Termite damage. These tiny pests love moist areas and will often build their nests in these places.

Some common signs of Termite damage are water buildup around the house’s exterior, bubbling paint, and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.

Consequently, maintaining your home’s moisture level is quite important for preventing termites.

Thereby ensure that water doesn’t pool, and that drains are clear, you can avoid the potential for clogs and leaks – both of which create an inviting environment for termites.

Cracks Or Openings In Your Home’s Structure

Cracks and openings in your home’s structure can be a major problem, especially with pests like termites. These can provide an entry point for the termites and allow them to infest your home.

It is important to take care of these issues and repair any damage as soon as possible. If left untreated, termites can lead to significant damage.

Any Wood Making Contact With Your Home

Termites like to eat wood, which can be extremely detrimental if left unchecked.

These tiny critters can be located in any wood that comes in contact with your home, including the trim around your windows and doors, as well as the posts or framework that support your roof.

It’s important to regularly inspect your property for any signs of these pests and immediately take action if you suspect an infestation.

Common Types Of Termites

How to Check for Termite Damage in Your Home

Termites are common household invaders. They live in a range of climates all around the world. These critters are likely to be present where there is wood and moisture.

Generally, the Termites are categorized into two major castes: reproductive and nonreproductive.

The Queens, kings, and alates are all members of the reproductive caste (also called “swarmers”). The largest and most productive of the termites are queens.

The kings, who mate with queens in order to expand the colony, are their smaller counterparts. Only the alates, the other reproductive component, have wings. The alates depart the colony after it is established to start another.

The nonreproductive termite population is to account for the termite damage. Workers and troops are separated in this. Both have saw-like mandibles that devastate wooden constructions.

The soldiers are the biggest of the two, with a larger and darker skulls. The employees’ primary purpose is to provide food for the colony and to tunnel to new food sources.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are a destructive pest that lives strictly underground. In fact, if you see mud tubes coming out of the foundation or any other part of your home, it means that there is an infestation of subterranean termites.

These termites build their nests in the soil and travel long distances to find food. They can do this by building mud tubes, which allow them to move above ground without being exposed to the elements.

The only subterranean termites that venture above ground are the alates. They are easily seen and can be distinguished from other types of termites by their wings, which are twice as long as their body.

Furthermore, there are three different types of subterranean termites: workers, soldiers, and queens. The size of the termite is based on its role in the colony.

Workers are the smallest and most numerous; they build the nest, feed the other termites, and care for the young. Soldiers have big heads and mandibles to defend the colony; they also eat cellulose. Queens are larger than other termites and lay eggs to start new colonies.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are a common termite species that can be found all over the world. They live in and thrive on dry wood, including wood used for construction and furniture.

These termites are different from subterranean termites in that they have several dark lines on their wings. They also don’t require contact with the soil to survive and can build their nests inside homes and other wooden structures.

Drywood termites can cause a lot of damage to homes and businesses if left untreated. Some common signs of infestation include small holes in the wood, piles of pellets (termite droppings), and swarms of winged insects.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are a specific order of termites that thrive only in high-moisture environments. This makes them a common problem for homeowners in humid climates, such as the Pacific Northwest.

These termites live in moist, water-damaged wood and feed on the cellulose in the lumber. They are attracted to moist, rotting wood, making clogged gutters, leaking pipes, flooding tops, and homes that have been poorly maintained.

If you notice any of these issues, address them right away and check for termite damage. Rember Dampwood termites can cause significant damage to wooden structures and furniture if left untreated.

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

Detail of column post damage on home's front porch.

Termites are often called “silent destroyers” because they can eat through the wood in your home without you even knowing it. Furthermore, termite damage is often confused with water damage, as the two can look very similar.

However, there are some key differences that you can look for to determine if you have a termite problem in your home.

Termites eat away at wood from the inside out, so their damage will be hidden until too late. You may also see small mounds of earth near your home’s foundation; this is another sign that termites are present.

On the other hand, water damage is more visible and tends to cause more structural problems.

That being said, keep these indicators in mind as you learn how to recognize termites and signs of termite damage.

Swarming

When termites swarm, it is often in response to a change in their environment or conditions. For example, they may swarm when the weather changes and look for a new place to live.  

Besides, that termites may also invade an area in large populations when they are looking for new places to start a colony, causing damage to your home and property.

Therefore, in case you observe a swarm of flying insects around your house, it is most likely an indicator of termite presence. 

Buckling Wood

Buckling wood is a common sign of termite damage. Termites eat away at the wooden support beams in your home, which can cause the wood to buckle.

The buckled wood can be found anywhere on the structure, from floorboards and baseboards to crown molding and furniture.

If you notice any buckling wood in your home, it’s important to inspect the area for signs of termites and address the issue as soon as possible.

Swollen Floors And Ceilings

Water damage and termite colonies are two of the most common causes of property damage. Swelling floors and ceilings are both indicators of one or the other.

Therefore, if you see any signs of swelling on your floors or ceilings, get your home checked for an infestation right away. This swelling is more than an eyesore – it’s a sign of dangerous structural damage that could put your home at risk.

‘Mazes’ In Walls Or Furniture

Visible tunnels in wood around your home are one of the most evident indicators of termite damage. Termites tear away through your walls or furniture to produce these “mazes.”

Smell Of Mold Or Mildew

Mold and mildew are the common odors of severe termite infestations. You may have a termite problem if you just eliminated mold from an area and the stench continues. It is advised to employ an expert for inspection immediately.

How To Repair Termite Damage

Termites can inflict extensive damage to your home in the short term and over time.

If you find out that termites have damaged your home, you’ll need to take action. The first step is to repair the damage they’ve done.

This may include replacing the affected wood, treating the area with pesticides, and installing a termite barrier. This is not only for the safety of your home but also for the long-term health of your property.

Homeowners can check for termite damage and take preventative steps against these pests by doing the following:

Make Sure All Termites Are Eradicated

It is important to ensure that all termites are eliminated before starting any repairs. This will help avoid any further damage and ensure that the property is safe.

There are several methods to check for termite damage and eradicate them, including using Termidor SC, bait stations, and foam.

It is safe to begin mending the damage caused by termites once they have been exterminated.

Remove Or Replace Damaged Wood

In order to make improvements to termite damage in your home, you need to inspect the wood for any signs of damage.

If you see any damage, you will need to decide if the piece needs to be replaced or just repaired. A few factors will help you make this decision, including the extent of the damage, the age and condition of the wood, and your budget.

For instance, if the damage is severe, the wood may need to be replaced entirely. However, if the damage is not too bad, you can try to remove and replace the damaged wood.

Having said that, if you have more complicated repairs to be done, then it is best to hire a professional. They will have the experience and knowledge to properly assess the damage and repair it in the most efficient way possible.

Reinforce Damaged Wood With New Wood

If you have a small amount of termite damage that is not severe, you may be able to fix it yourself by reinforcing the wood with new wood.

You can do this by drilling holes in the damaged wood and then driving screws or nails through the new wood and into the old.

This will help keep the new wood in place and stop the termites from further damaging the structure.

How Much Does Repairing Termite Damage Cost?

The cost of repairing termite damage can be expensive, and it largely depends on the extent of the damage and the complexity of the repair.

Generally speaking, the cost can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Homeowners should always consult with a professional to get an accurate estimate.

How To Prevent Future Infestations

Old and grunge wood board was eating by group of termitesOld and grunge wood board was eating by group of termites

Preventing a termite infestation starts with being proactive. Determine whether areas of your home are susceptible to termites. Take the necessary precautions to check and preserve your property. You can prevent your home from becoming a termite haven with a little effort.

Prioritize Home Inspections

One of the best ways to avoid an infestation of termites in your home is to prioritize regular home inspections. This will assist you in detecting any potential damage or difficulties before they become a larger problem.

In case you are not familiar with how to look for termite damage, you can consult a professional inspector. They will check the property for any potential problems, including signs of termite damage.

Conduct Regular Checks For Damage

An efficient way to conduct regular maintenance on your home is to check for signs of termite damage, particularly because termites can cause a lot of damage to homes, so it’s important to be vigilant in looking for them.

You can look for signs of infestation in the basement, check the gutters and wood around them to make sure they’re draining properly, and look for any areas where the wood has been chewed away.

You can also check the exterior of your property for any visible damage, such as mud tubes or droppings.

If you do find any evidence of termites, it is important to take action right away.

Hire A Professional

Hire a professional if you suspect you have a termite infestation. Do not attempt to do this yourself.

Termites that show up in your home have most likely been there for years and have spread to a large population. A pest control specialist will exterminate the termites and take action to prevent future infestations on your property.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are several ways to check for termite damage in your home. You can look for common signs like buckling wood, termite swarms, and “mazes” or “tunnels” in the wood around your house. If you think you might have a termite infestation, you should seek professional advice to receive a more precise diagnosis.

FAQs

What does termite damage look like on a wall?

There are faint ‘lines on drywall.’ (Termites tunnel through drywall paperboard, so you might be able to view a map of their tunnels from the outside.) When you tap on the wall, you hear a hollow sound. Paint that is bubbling or peeling.

How long does it take termites to destroy a house?

Termite damage might take 3–5 years to appear, depending on the colony’s size (or colonies) present. According to some research, termites can take up to 15 years (give or take) to totally demolish your home.

What kills termites instantly?

Boric acid is a tried-and-true approach for eradicating termites. The extremely efficient boric acid is the principal ingredient in many termite pesticides available in stores. Boric acid dehydrates the termite and causes its nervous system to shut down.