Before considering a renovation, it is important to be vigilant for signs of structural or aesthetic damage that could be a sign of termite infestation. Not only is termite infestation a potentially serious problem regarding the value of a home, it must be taken care of before a renovation is completed. There’s nothing more depressing and pointless as completing a spotless and beautiful home renovation and then seeing that hard work undone by insect damage. Here are five warning signs that the home you’re working on could be the target of a colony of opportunistic termites.
Termites travel by swarming. During the spring, large groups of airborne fertile termites can set up shop near a home that seems like a likely spot to park a colony. Termites shed their wings upon discovering a likely location, and the discarded wings are a significant clue as to their presence.
Termites consume leaf litter and wood debris, leaving behind a sawdusty material called frass. Frass is another sign of nearby termites. Keeping the exterior of your home (particularly gutters and downspouts) free of wooden debris will make your home less attractive to a termite colony. Firewood, mulch, and similar wood materials should also be stored away from the home, preferably secured in termite resistant locations or containers.
Termites build mud tubes on the exterior of houses, to provide temporary shelter and hydration, while they attempt to get inside. Keep an eye out for these structures on your home’s foundation.
Cracked, bubbled-up paint is another sign that should be apparent to all vigilant renovators. Termites can get beneath the paint, covering wooden structures, creating passages deeper into the structure of the wood.
This can result in another obvious warning sign, hollow-sounding wood structures. Tapping on a wood element of a home to be renovated should not yield a hollow, empty sound, and this might be a sign of termites within the wood.
If you discover any of these signs during (or ideally before) a renovation project, you can get in touch with a professional exterminator. Terminix Pest Control offers a no obligation home termite inspection with free instant price quotes, which will do much to hopefully allay your fears, or at least give you the information needed so you know how to proceed.