Termites can live in a house for a long period of time without being noticed. This is because their favorite spot is under your home. They look similar to ants and enter and exit from the soil surrounding your house and enjoy the dampness underneath with a plentiful supply of wood.
Unfortunately, they can also do a lot of damage. One termite colony can consume a foot of 2×4 board in six months. This may not sound significant but imagine any structural piece of wood in your home missing a piece this size. It’s going to matter!
Of course, the fact that they often go undetected means they can do significantly more damage than this!
This is why it’s essential that you know how to identify termite damage, kill the termites, and repair the damage.
Spotting A Termite Issue
The first thing you should do is walk around the outside of your home. If you have soil against your house you’ll be looking for small holes. These are tunnels that allow the termites to get in and out of your foundations.
If you see the holes cover a couple and check the next day. The holes will be uncovered or new ones will have appeared next to them, this means you have active termites.
Termites eat the wood which means they don’t leave telltale sawdust. However, they do leave tiny holes in the wood. If you notice these in your wood then you’ll need to suspect termites.
Eradicating The Termites
If you think you have termites the best thing you can do is get some termite bait traps. These are placed near where the termites are likely to be. That’s the damage you’ve witnessed. Inside the traps, you place food that the termites will enjoy.
The termites will find the trap and take the bait. Once they are happy it is safe they will mark the trap, ensuring they can return. You can then swap the good bait for poison, the termites will take it back to the colony, potentially killing the entire colony in one go.
The bait trap will alert you to their presence. You should contact the professionals to assist with killing them and ensuring they have all been eradicated.
Repairing The Damage
Once you know the termites have been eliminated you’ll have to start thinking about repairing the damage. Wood eaten by termites is riddled with holes and seriously weakened. If the damage is relatively small you should strap a fresh piece of wood next to the damaged piece and secure it to the good wood on either side.
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You’ll then be able to cut the wood eaten by termites out. The reason you add the new piece first is to ensure the strength of the wood is maintained. Once it’s cut out you can add extra pieces to increase its strength.
Of course, if the damage is significant, you’ll need to locate each end of the wooden beam or joist. You can then remove the entire piece and replace it with a new one.