As the warmer weather approaches, so too comes termite season. As a result, soon many of us will soon be seeing signs of termite damage. Though some homes have been safeguarded against the damage of termites, others may not be so lucky. Although there are many signs of termite damage, many homeowners may not recognize them on sight. Termites can do immense amounts of damage to the structure of a house, so it is important to find out as early as possible if you have the misfortune of dealing with a possible infestation of termites to protect your home and family.
Common Southern Termites
Throughout the southern and southwestern states, infestations of dry-wood termites are most common. As the name suggests, dry-wood termites live in drier wood than other species and require no soil for their colonies. Because they can subsist on wood alone, dry wood termites may take up residence in areas of the home we neither expect nor see often. If you see signs of termites in one area, it is important to call a professional to get an inspection as soon as you possibly can. Dry-wood termites, like any other, can prove incredibly harmful to your home, so it is important to know when you are dealing with them before extensive damage can be done. Here are the most common signs of termite damage that you need to know.
Signs of Termite Damage
Piles of Wings
Termites called “swarmers” are flying termites that travel from their original colony to begin a new one. Not all termites fly, and those that do actually lose their wings quickly after taking flight and finding a suitable mate. Once impregnated, the swarmer termite will lose its wings and burrow into wood to lay the eggs for the new colony. Through this process, several wings can be discarded in one area of a home as the colony matures and other swarmer termites lose wings through this process. Common areas for termites to shed these wings are near windows and windowsills, near light sources, and near doors that access the outside.
Piles of Frass
Drywood termites eat through wood and leave piles of shavings and droppings in their wake. In order to keep the tunnels (or “galleries”) they construct clean, termites will kick out their feces and other debris as they work. The droppings they produce are called “frass” and can resemble tiny piles of dirt, sawdust, or coffee grounds. Much like the wings, these are likely to be found near windows and doors but can really be seen anywhere in the home where termites have traveled and done damage.
Drooping or Damaged Drywall
When termites burrow inside of a home’s walls, they are eating whatever is inside. Drywall is partially made of a paper like material that termites readily feast upon. The damage they cause can cause the drywall to sag inward or change in color as the termites’ presence causes increased moisture levels in the areas where they are active. Alone, this symptom may not mean you have termites, but if you notice sagging or unexplained discoloration in your drywall, you may need to keep an eye out for other signs of termite damage.
Small Holes in Wood
If you have noticed tiny, dark spots along your walls, you may actually be looking at holes caused by termite damage. The drywood termite particularly kicks out the residual wood shavings and frass from the holes they create, and they do not refill these holes with soil, like their cousin, the subterranean termite. What results are miniature holes emerging along the surface of your walls or other surfaces. Near the holes, you may spot piles of wings or frass as mentioned above. When found together, these elements are almost sure-fire signs of termite damage. If you notice them, call a professional for an inspection as soon as possible.
Decaying, Dilapidated Wood
Of course, the most obvious sign of termite damage is decaying, delipidated wood. The destruction of longstanding termite presence on wood will eventually cause the wood to become weakened and overly moist. Termites create cavities in whatever they live in and over time these cavities grow substantially. This leads to the crumbling, decaying surfaces that are often found where termites reside.
Other Common Signs
Though prevalent, these indicators are not the only signs of termite damage. In fact, depending on your location, the weather, and other factors, you may see many more markers of termite presence, or possibly fewer. Regardless, it is important to keep your eyes peeled for even small signs of termite damage A few more to keep on your radar are:
- Particularly squeaky or loose floorboards or tiles.
- Hollow sounds elicited from tapping wooden surfaces and floors
- Windows and doors that cannot open or get stuck
Why The Signs Of Termite Damage Matter
Because termites consume and live inside of the wood in a home, having a termite infestation means that portions of the materials that make up your home are being damaged to sustain them. Overtime, this process will of course, result in cosmetic defects, but more importantly the integrity of your home’s support structure can be significantly undercut. Left undealt with, an infestation of termites can create a huge safety problem for you and your family and can result in exorbitant repair and maintenance bills to fix the problem.
Restore Your Home with Acadian Window and Siding
Unfortunately, by the time many people recognize these signs, odds are that the damage is already widespread and repairs may extend beyond a do-it-yourself project. Replacing doors and windows impaired by termite damage can be an expensive hassle. Additionally, choosing the correct styles and materials for your home can be pivotal in combating future damage.
Let Acadian Windows and Sidings help you choose and install your windows, doors, and siding to replace those that have been marred by signs of termite damage. We offer financing options for your convenience so you can get the beauty and safety of your home back up to par sooner. If you’ve found signs of termite damage in your home, call or contact us to get started with your home restoration today!