Each year termite damage costs homeowners thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to avoid a termite infestation. The two-part process involves preventing them from entering your home and treating known colonies. Use the following five tips to help prevent termites in your home.
1. Ways to Prevent Termites Before Building
Although it doesn’t apply to existing homes, the best way to prevent termites in a newly built home begins with careful planning. A poured concrete foundation is difficult for the insects to invade. Incorporate termite mesh or barriers to block an infestation. Steel frames and pressure treated wood are other building materials that help prevent termites in your home.
2. Prevent Termites Inside the Home
Termites need moisture to survive. Drainage problems around the home create the ideal living conditions for termites. Make sure faucets and air conditioner drip lines aren’t causing pooling water around the foundation.
Keep your gutters clear of debris. Seal doors, windows, and cracks in siding to prevent termites from coming into your home. Use vents and extraction fans to keep moisture out of subfloors. Inspect wood furniture, floors, beams, and other wood structures regularly for signs of termite damage.
3. Steps to Prevent Termites Outdoors
A stacked pile of firewood by your home is convenient in winter but it’s also a food source for termites. Keep woodpiles several feet away from the house and elevated off the ground. Remove rotted logs and trees to keep termites from building nests in the damp wood. Find an alternative for wood mulch near the foundation.
Replace any missing or broken shingles on your roof because they provide access to your home’s wooden frame. Only use treated timber in fences, garden beds, and decking. Keep a neat, trimmed garden and lawn. Cut back overhanging limbs and overgrown bushes.
4. Learn to Recognize the Signs of Termites
There are several things you may notice when looking for signs of termites. Flying termites are an obvious sign of an infestation. They look like brown ants with wings. If you spot them or discarded wings on your property, it is time for a termite inspection. Knock on walls and listen for a hollow sound. Visible tunnels in timber are another sure sign of termites. Termite droppings, called frass, resemble piles of coffee grounds and is usually noticed near exit holes in wood.
5. Schedule Regular Termite Inspections
The above steps can go a long way to prevent termites in the home, but to be safe, have your home professionally inspected every year. A termite inspector has the training and expertise to assess termite infestations, damage, and areas of concern.