Did you know that termites are some of the most destructive pests in your home? They eat through wood and cause structural damage that often requires extensive repairs. Fortunately, you can protect your home from termites by implementing simple preventative measures. In this article, we explain what termites are, how they cause damage, and how to control them.
What are termites?
Termites are tiny insects that are related to ants, bees, and wasps. These social insects are classified as eusocial, which means that they organize themselves into colonies with a queen, workers, and a juvenile stage. They are found almost everywhere in the world. They can be found in areas with warm and humid climates, such as coastal regions and tropical regions. The most common species of termites are the wood-eating species. However, there are also species that eat fabric and paper, and even people in some cases. They often damage wood but can also damage concrete and other materials. The damage they cause is called termite damage or termite infestation.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
If you find evidence of termite damage in your home, it’s a good idea to have your house inspected as soon as possible. If you see termite holes, you’ll know that termites have been in your home. You’ll also know if you have a serious termite problem if you find any of the following signs:
- Wooden beams are eaten through
- Wood siding on your home is damaged
- Floor joists are eaten through
- Concrete foundations are eaten through
Termites often cause damage in the form of small, round holes in wood. You might not even notice these holes until you’re walking on the floor and feel something crunchy under your feet. In severe cases, termite damage may cause the entire structural support of your home to fall down.
Concrete Foundation Damage
Termites are a common cause of concrete foundation damage. When termites attack the concrete of your house, they cause microscopic cracks in the concrete surface. These cracks can grow into larger openings over time, which can lead to water damage, wall collapse, and even structural failure. Termites can also cause structural damage to concrete floors by eating through the reinforcing steel that is embedded in the concrete. This is particularly common in older homes that were built using cheaper, less-reinforced concrete.
Pier-And-Beam Foundation Damage
Termites damage the wooden beams and posts of a pier-and-beam foundation. The damage caused by termites is usually limited to the wooden posts of the pier-and-beam system. The beam and headers of the pier-and-beam system are usually undamaged. Pier-and-beam foundations are similar to concrete foundations in that they are made up of columns and beams. The main difference between a pier-and-beam foundation and a concrete foundation is that pier-and-beam foundations are made up of connected wooden posts instead of concrete columns.
Protection against termites
You can prevent termite damage to your home by following these tips:
- Keep your home’s wood-walling moisture levels low.
- Seal holes and cracks in your home’s wood walling.
- Properly store wood inside your home.
- Install termite shields on electrical and telephone lines.
- Install termite barriers on water pipes inside your home.
Termites are one of the most destructive types of pests in your home. They consume wood and structural components and cause structural damage that may require extensive repairs. If you suspect that your home was recently damaged by termites, it’s important to have an inspection performed immediately. Contact us today at Dodson Foundation Repair for a quality foundation inspection!