Termites! One of the most costly and time consuming problems one can face as a homeowner. Millions of dollars are spent every year on termite treatment, extermination and prevention. Even in the face of these rising costs, homeowners can take preventative measures to ensure their termite treatment costs remain at a reasonable level.
Homeowners do have options to reduce these costs. The termite inspection is a perfect option for the homeowner who wants to take a proactive approach to termite treatment. This measure, if done on a regular basis, can help reduce termite treatment costs over the long term and prevent extensive termite damage to your home.
What to Look For and Where to Look For It
A termite inspection serves many purposes. Regular termite inspections can help prevent future infestations, determine the size and severity of a current infestation and identify what, if any, termite damage may already be present. The first step in a termite inspection is to look for signs of termites in and around your property. Termite tubes are the most common signs of a current termite infestation, although other signs may be present depending on how long termites have been eating away. Also known as mud tubes, termite tubes are tiny trails that run up the interior and exterior of the home. The composition of these tubes is termite saliva and partially digested wood from the colony, along with other organic material that may be present.
Just because termites are subterranean insects doesn’t mean there won’t be signs of them above ground. It is important to do a thorough check of your home, both indoors and outdoors when inspecting for termites. The information below will help you identify where you should look to ensure you perform the most detailed inspection possible.
The first place a homeowner should inspect is the exterior of the home. The first signs of termites typically show up outside and the exterior of the home tends to be fairly easy to inspect. The perimeter of the home should be inspected thoroughly. Be sure to check the foundation or stem wall for signs of termite tubes. It is also important to remove all dead brush from the perimeter of the home, as this can be a perfect place for termites to build their colonies. If your home has wood or plastic siding, be sure to check the base of the siding to look for any wood decay or other signs of termites. Once you’ve inspected the exterior, you’ll be able to move inside.
The interior search for termites can be more time consuming. Signs of termites in the home may be more difficult to identify for a variety of reasons. Your inspection should include every room in the house, making sure to inspect under beds, behind curtains, inside cabinets and behind appliances. Termite tubes, like on the exterior of the home, can be present on drywall or on floor boards throughout the home. You should also look for imperfections in the wood and drywall of each room. The easiest way to identify these imperfections is to shine a flashlight along the length of the wall to identify any indentations or areas that may be raised. Applying a little pressure with your finger to any areas that look affected will help to identify the severity of the damage.
Obviously for homes that have concrete slab foundations, 白蟻 crawl spaces will not be present, but it’s important that any tight places around the home be checked as well. You’ll need a flashlight and a long tool; a crowbar or long screwdriver will work. You’ll also want to put on long pants and a long sleeve shirt to keep the dirt off. Like your inspections of the interior and exterior, you’re looking for termite tubes running from the ground up the side of the foundation or pillars underneath the home. If you find signs of termites, use your tool to test the density of the wood close to the termite tubes or dig a trench along the foundation to see if you can find termites. This will help determine the severity of the infestation or damage.
The attic should be the final place to look. Even though this is the highest point in your home, termites can still find their way into your attic. Referring back to the techniques you used for your crawl space inspection, check the attic for termite tubes, mud, termites or decayed wood. If you come across any problem areas, be sure to check the density of the affected wood.
What’s Involved in a Termite Inspection?
The time it takes to conduct a termite inspect depends on a few factors. Taking the size, complexity and number of places to look, a typically inspection can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. These inspections should be conducted every twelve months to ensure you stay ahead of any termite problems. If you live in arid climates like the desert, termites are almost an inevitability. If you’re deciding between doing the inspection yourself or hiring a professional, here are a few things you should consider.
The size of your home should be the first thing you consider. If your home is 1,500 square feet or 5,000, this factor alone can make a do-it-yourself termite inspection more hassle than it’s worth. You’ll also want to assess your accessibility to the areas of your home. Some attics do not have adequate rooms to move and crawl spaces could be so tight that some adults wouldn’t fit through the opening. What year was your home built? This should also be considered, as some older homes can have unique areas that are difficult to access. Plant life around the property can also make it difficult to inspect the entire perimeter of the home.