Termite Wood Damage & Structural Defects
Natural forces like earthquakes and tornadoes can cause a wake of destruction. Fortunately, they have taught us something about the kind of home they are most likely to damage. It turns out that strong forces “pick on” homes and buildings that have structural defects. Homes that are well built and maintained are more likely to come through a major calamity in much better shape.
A structural defect can be the result of a design or construction flaw and makes your home weaker. Weakening can also be caused by anything that attacks the structural wood. This includes beetles, fungi, termites and carpenter ants. Unchecked, these pests can reduce the strength of wood by as much as 80%, leaving your home susceptible to widespread damage. The stronger the force, the more likely that force will cause severe, and perhaps irreparable, damage to the home.
The porch column that has a masonry exterior can conceal termite- damaged wood inside. The column could break during an earthquake. Had the wood been intact, the column may very well have come through unharmed. Be vigilant in keeping your home in good repair and free of wood-destroying pests. Don’t hesitate to have inaccessible areas opened so they can be inspected for hidden damage.
Termite Trouble Spots
Any structure with wood looks and smells like a big juicy steak to termites. These pests have an uncanny ability to locate wood both by smell and by random searching, even when dirt, cement, or stucco hides the wood. There are certain situations that encourage problems with termites. Here are some common termite trouble spots.
- Cracks in concrete foundations and foundation walls allow termites hidden access to wood.
- Soil in contact with wood allows termites easy access. This includes posts set in the ground, soil pushed up against the wood in a structure, concrete porches filled with soil that rests against wood structural members, wooden porch steps that rest on soil, etc. Do-it-yourselfers often erect wooden trellises or fences with posts directly in the ground, and then connect these to the house.
- Unsolved moisture problems like poor grading that directs water toward a structure, dripping faucets, and leaking pipes all attract termites, which need moisture to survive. Shrubbery or vines that block the airflow through ventilation openings also cause problems.
- Extra wood like tree stumps and large dead roots, buried form boards, wood chip mulching, and firewood stacked on the ground attracts termites. The pests get started in these, then find their way into a structure.
These are just some of the many, many situations that can lead to trouble with termites. A professional Southland Pest Control’s inspection can spot these and other, less obvious conditions that can lead to problems with various wood-damaging pests.