Homeowners have a lot of issues to worry about regarding home maintenance, with one of the most important being the possibility of a termite infestation. If a termite invasion strikes your home, the structural damage could be devastating. That is why it's vital that you stay aware of the potential problem and take action to prevent termites from raising havoc in your home. Here are some tips to help you keep termites at bay and some signs to watch for to ensure you catch any infestation early.
Termites often use a home's foundation to climb up the side of the house in search of wood siding or other wooden materials. They create mud tubes to transport themselves from the ground up to the wood they seek, so check your foundation at least once a year for any signs of mud tubes. Check your attic or crawl space, as well as your basement for any signs of mud tubes and any damaged wood. Also, make sure that your attic and basement are adequately ventilated. If they are not, moisture could build up and attract termites.
Piles of wood, such as stacks of firewood, are very attractive to termites for obvious reasons. If termites invade a wood stack near your house, they can use it as a launching pad to infest your home. Keep all piles of wood or logs well away from your house to prevent this from happening.
Termites can also be in vegetation, so trim back any shrubs, tree limbs, and branches that overhang your roof or are close to the house. Also, never place mulch directly against your foundation. Another good tip is to have wooden features on your property such as decks and sheds treated with a termite repellant. If you are building a new wood structure near your house, such as a fence, use treated wood for the project.
In addition to mud tubes, another common sign of termites in the home is wood flooring that buckles or blisters. Watch for any wood in your house that has been damaged by long grooves that might look like a maze. Check for the discarded wings of flying termites and termite droppings, which look like tiny wood pellets. Another sign is damaged drywall, which can show up as pinholes in the wall.
If a termite infestation does show up in your house, don't try to solve the problem yourself. Termite invasions are not a do-it-yourself issue. Contact a termite control professional for assistance.