Property Damage From Termites

How badly can termites hurt your home? Well, throughout the United States they cause billions of dollars in destruction every year. They can destroy things ranging from wood, trees on your property, books, plants, and even parts of swimming pools.

Just by existing, they can prevent you from selling your home - no one is going to want to buy without getting rid of them first and assessing the extent of the damage, and many home sale contracts are conditioned on successfully passing a termite inspection. 

If you've got termites in your home, the good news is that they can take quite a while before you see any real damage.
 

Basic Info About Termites

How to Inspect for Termites

Termite Pictures

Ways to Protect Your House

Liquid Treatments

Bait Treatments

Borate Treatments

 

 In many cases, it takes up to five years or so before you see any signs of the problem. On the other hand, a healthy colony can consume an entire foot of a two-by-four in just a few months. That doesn't sound so bad, but the extend of the harm depends on how it's distributed in your house - the termites don't eat the entire board, they tunnel around in them. It is tough to tell exactly how much it will cost you to repair it, because it can vary so much.

Can the problems be repaired?

Yes. In fact, sometimes you can get away with just reinforcing the damaged wood if it hasn't been hurt that badly. You are going to have to have a professional come look at it if you've had a colony for awhile, though - termites often eat away at load bearing wood, and you need to make sure that your home is still structurally sound. After the harm to your house is fixed, get regular termite inspections to stop another colony from getting to the point where it can harm your house.

Sources and Useful Links:

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef604.asp

http://www.heimer.com/information/termites.html

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/10412.shtml

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/23/AR2006062300635.html

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Termites Guide