Termites cause homeowners an estimated $5 billion a year in damage repair, a figure that may make you cringe if you’ve ever suffered an infestation.
From moisture and mold to extensive mazes within a home’s structure, these tiny pests are nothing to laugh at. Termite damage can range from moderate harm—when caught early—to severe cases that require considerable repairs. If you’re wondering where an infestation could leave you, here’s what you should know about what termites can do to a house.
Mild to Moderate Types of Termite Damage to Look For
Once termites first make their way into your home, it may take some time before they do enough damage for you to notice. After you’ve spotted the signs of an infestation, here’s what to expect in terms of the minor damages.
Jamming Windows and Doors
If you know much about termite prevention, you may already know that moisture makes it easier for termites to digest the wood in your home. However, one of the effects of termites is further moisture creation. When termites soften the wood as they tunnel, or when their droppings spread across an area, it encourages more moisture.
This can cause your windows and doors to warp and buckle in their frames. The result is often that the door or window is difficult to open. Over time, you may even find it impossible to operate them, requiring a complete replacement.
Subterranean termites can cause wood damage that looks a little like water damage. Blisters across the wood, especially on the walls or floor, can be a sign that termites are feeding directly underneath. If you know that your property hasn’t sustained water damage, this can be a clear sign that you have termites.
In addition, keep an eye out for paint that appears to be bubbling or peeling. For wooden surfaces with a coat of paint, the blistering may warp the paint layer in noticeable ways.
Added moisture in the home can cause the wood around the area of the infestation to slowly buckle and bend with time. From floorboards to wood molding to furniture, buckling wood is a common type of early damage you’ll see.
These are one of the most obvious signs of termite damage. Mud tubes are small raised lines on a wall, ceiling, or floor, and they’re designed to protect termites and help them get around. They can be anywhere from the thickness of a pencil to an inch wide, and they’re made of soil, wood, and termite saliva.
Major Types of Termite Damage
Some of the damage termites do to your home can be a major headache, requiring extensive repairs or replacements. Here are a few of the more worrying types of damage you might see:
Certain termite species, especially drywood termites, will consume wood from the inside out. This is why it can be so difficult to detect these infestations. Hollowed wood can be a major source of damage for homeowners, especially when there’s just a thin layer of wood left on the outside of the surface.
Bulging Ceilings, Walls, and Floors
As we’ve said above, with moisture comes slight buckling—but these small buckles can worsen in time. With certain types of walls, floors, and ceilings, you might start to notice further swelling over time. This is a sign of structural damage that you’ll need to repair before the area cracks or caves in.
Mazes in Wood
As they eat away at the wood of your home, termites can create unusual, maze-like tunneling patterns that damage your wood. You may also notice tiny holes in your walls, about the size of a pushpin, which may indicate a maze beneath the surface.
Where to Look for Termite Damage
More often than not, you’ll notice termite damage because you’ve spotted something unusual within your own home. However, once you see the first indications of damage, you shouldn’t assume that it’s limited to one specific place in your home. Instead, it’s a good idea to do a quick inspection to see if there are any other areas that the infestation has reached.
Around Your Window and Door Frames
In most homes, the frames of windows and doors are made of wood. Check for termite damage in these areas by inspecting the quality of the wood. If necessary, you can compare a frame with a possible infestation to the frames of other windows and doors in your home.
Look for wood that appears crumbly or soft. You should also rap on it to see if it feels hollow.
Within Your Foundation Wall and Structural Wood
Though often overlooked by homeowners, foundation wall damage can be a major headache. It’s also a common place where termites will build mud tubes, as it allows them to form a colony in a quieter space while traveling elsewhere in your home for food. Lines of any type on your foundation wall are a sign to call an expert.
In Your Crawlspace
Most homeowners have little reason to enter their crawlspace on a regular basis, which is why many of the worst types of home damage take root there: hidden issues can go unseen for a long time! As far as termites go, however, you should look for mud tubes, mazes eaten through wood, and other signs of damage listed above.
Inside of Your Home
Termites may start eating away at the wood outside or under your home, but they’ll eventually make their way into your living areas as well. For major infestations, it’s important to check your wood furniture, walls, and any other wooden elements of your home. Drywood termites in particular tend to cause a great deal of damage inside the home, so take a careful look around for signs of damage.
Termite Protection Solutions That Work
If you’ve noticed signs of damage or seen an infestation yourself, it’s time to call for help before the termite damage grows worse.
Getting rid of termites in homes is one of our specialties, and we offer the solutions you need to protect your home from harm. Missouri homeowners have a history of trusting Amco Ranger to take care of their property, so contact us for a free inspection today!