Termites can eat you out of house and home - literally - and you likely won’t know you have an infestation until significant damage has been done. A professional termite inspection can identify the problem before the pests gain too big a mouthful of your structure’s supporting beams. In this blog, our professional inspection team at CHC Home Inspection is sharing what you need to know about termite inspections.
Who Needs a Termite Inspection?
You do. Most every home has wood within its structure, which is the foundation of a termite’s diet and where they build their nests. Scheduling an annual termite inspection will help you stay ahead of potential infestations and more costly damage and remediation.
Areas The Inspector Will Check
Where there is wood there could be termites. An inspector will check any exterior wood near your home, including wood fences and woodpiles. Termites are creatures of habit and can be found in or near baseboards, door frames, and windowsills. We will also check rooms in your home with plumbing, like kitchens and laundry rooms, as the pests can enter your home where plumbing penetrates the foundation slab.
Termite inspections are straightforward and don’t require special tools or equipment. A flashlight and knowing what to be on the lookout for are all our inspectors will need. The inspection can take anywhere from half an hour to more than two hours, depending on the size of your property.
Signs of Termites
What do we look for during a termite inspection? An up close and personal encounter with a termite within your home is unlikely, but there are telltale signs you have unwelcome house guests:
Mud tubes: Termites build small tunnels to travel and protect themselves from predators. These tubes are around ¼” in diameter and spread in a vein-like pattern. You can find mud tubes on the interior and exterior of walls, wooden beams, and around foundations.
Frass: The official term for termite droppings, frass is shaped like small oval pellets and often resembles wood shavings.
Evidence of swarming: When termite colonies start to get overcrowded, some will leave to begin new ones. This happens as the weather begins to warm in the spring, and the insects can often be seen flying. Once they have found a new place to call home, termites shed their winds, so small piles of wings are another telltale sign.
Wood damage and buckling: Wood that sounds hollow when knocked on indicates that termites have been feasting on its interior. Termites also create space between paint and drywall that air and moisture can seep into. This can cause cracks and bubbles in the paint that may be evidence of termites. Termites are not always the cause of bubbling paint, but you should always investigate bubbling or cracking paint.
A termite inspection is the only way to be sure your home is termite-free, but there are steps you can take to keep an infestation from occurring or reoccurring:
Don’t keep firewood or mulch close to your home. Aim for a distance of at least 20 feet and keep it several inches off the ground.
Remove fallen trees and other dead wood from near your structures.
Termites love moisture almost as much as wood. Keeping your gutters clean and ensure proper soil drainage around your home to help prevent termites from settling in.
Is it time for your annual termite inspection? Give us a call at 1-800-975-0275. You can also request an insurance quote right on our website. We’re located in Lexington, KY, and are proud to serve all Central Kentucky, including Lexington, Louisville, Liberty, Somerset, Georgetown, and Nicholasville, KY.