Spring and Summer is prime termite season as swarmers emerge to mate and establish new colonies, which often include vulnerable residential properties. Termites can literally eat a home out from under its owners, often without them even knowing until much damage has been done. They have the ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected, 24/7, and can compromise the structural stability of a home within several years depending on the species. In fact, termites cause $5 billion worth of property damage annually.
Luckily, there are many steps homeowners can take to help prevent termites from infesting their property. Here are 10 tips to protect your greatest investment from termites:
- Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
- Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
- Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
- Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.