Damage Caused By Termites

April 4, 2016


Termites destroy wood and are capable of damaging a house’s structural timbers, including floor supports, posts, ceiling supports, wall studs, and subfloors. Termites can also damage other non-structural components such as paneling, drywall paperboard, furniture, and carpet. The most prevalent species to invade and damage houses in the United States are the drywood termites. Dampwood termites are unlikely to invade homes because of their high moisture requirements. The damage from termites may range from small superficial damage to significant structural damage which can cause floors or ceilings to collapse. And early detection of this termite infestations is necessary to minimize the cost of repairing termite damage and the risk of living in a damaged and unsafe home. Yearly inspections by a termite professional could help homeowners detect early signs of termite activity, some of which might not be readily visible or detected.

termite damage to a kitchen cabinet

Signs of Termite Damage

A home with damage from termites mostly looks the same as any other house on the surface. The termites may build nests hidden in the walls, causing damage for a couple of years before it becomes apparent. Termite control professionals are trained to detect signs of any termite activity before the colony may have damaged the wood inside a house. 

If a termite infestation remains unnoticed or untreated for years, a house can suffer serious damage. In most cases, this damage may be easily mistaken for damage by water. The termite inspectors can tell the difference between structural damage caused by wood destroying insects such as termites, beetles and carpenters and damage by water leakage. 

Subterranean termite damage

The subterranean termites live underground in a damp and loose soil. Even though subterranean termite species resident in Africa are aggressive and well-known for the visible mounds on top their colonies, signs of the subterranean termite damage in the United States are less evident that their counterparts.

Interior damage may not become evident until the termite infestations are at full capacity. Termite damage sometimes resembles water damage. Outer signs of termite damage can include swollen floors, buckling wood, and enlarged ceilings, areas which seem to be suffering from visible mazes and slight water damage to furniture or walls. Termite infestations may also exude a scent which is similar to mold or mildew.

Subterranean termites access their above-ground food sources via mud tunnels which they create from mud, saliva, and feces. The tunnels are situated near the foundation of infested houses.

Drywood termite damage

The drywood termites make their colonies inside wooden structures which they also feed on. They can be seen inside of furniture or walls. Drywood termite infestations can only become visible after the colony has dug deeply into an infested wood that the maze-lie tunnels and veneer cracks beneath become apparent. Such damage is prevalent in ancient furniture pieces. If this occurs in new floors or furniture or even walls of your home, quickly contact a pest control professional to determine the severity of the current infestation, and the extermination solutions.

How Much Damage Can Termites Cause?

Even though termites are ecologically beneficial as they break down detritus and add nutrients to the soil, this same feeding behavior which proves helpful to the environment can also cause extreme damage to human houses. These termites eat wood, and they can compromise the safety and strength of an infested structure. Damage from termite can render the structures uninhabitable until costly repairs are made. 

According to a report from the National Pest Management Association, termite damage causes about $5 billion in property damage annually. Regardless of the kind of house you live in, whether it is a brick, stucco, block, even on concrete slabs, none is precluded from an invasion by termites and their damage. Worse still, termite damage can remain concealed for years until the costs for repairs are enormous.

Structural damage

Homes built primarily from wood are not the only homes targeted by termite infestations. Houses made from other materials can also host termite infestations, because termites are capable of moving through plaster, and also metal siding. Termites eat floors, cabinets, wooden furniture, and ceilings within these houses. 

As termites are not identified before sizable damage has been done, it is advised that homeowners having a termite infestation should contact a pest control specialist before trying to treat the problem on their own. The professionals will carry out an inspection to correctly identify the issue and then discuss the solutions available to the homeowners.

Ceiling Damage

Termites eat a variety of organic materials, cellulose, and may eat books, window trims, picture frames, floors, furniture, and ceilings. Damage was done to ceilings by termites mostly resemble light water damage as the affected ceilings may sag and buckle.

Foundation Damage

Any gap underground or exposed wood can allow these termites access to cause severe damage to the foundation of a home.

Laminate Flooring Damage

Termites can also damage the flooring of laminate and damage caused to laminate flooring by can appear similar to normal water damage. Laminate will sag and blister in infested areas. If inspected closely, there will be a hollow network of tunnels beneath the buckled areas. Termites have been known to eat through the laminate and also create small holes. To treat damage to laminate flooring, it is necessary to remove the old laminate and put in new flooring.

To prevent all these costly procedures, it is advised that homeowners have an annual termite inspection using their local pest control professionals to find a solution which is specially designed for their house. 

Call Alliance Pest Services today to get more information about our termite treatment plans and termite monitoring systems to protect your home and property from termite damage. 




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