In the United States, termites are a multi-billion-dollar problem. They cost U.S. property owners more than earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires combined. But all termites are not created equal. There is one type of termite that stands head and shoulders above the rest. They are called subterranean termites. Damage caused by these termites makes up the lion’s share of that multi-billion-dollar property damage figure. All other termite damage is in the hundreds of millions. And guess what type of termite we deal with in Tyle? Yup. Everything is bigger in Texas… including the cost of termite damage. That is why every Texas homeowner should know everything they can about subterranean termites. Today we’re going to focus on the damage these termites do and where to find it.
Termites Have A Preference
Subterranean termites have a preference for softened or rotting wood. They also have a preference for the grain of wood, due to its softness. Often, they feed along the grain, not crossing over. This is important to understand if you’re looking for termite damage or you’re looking to prevent termite damage.
External structures that are made of wood have more exposure to the elements and are sometimes made with untreated or unstained wood. This can make them vulnerable to water damage and rot. As worker termites explore a yard, feeding on stumps, fallen trees, and other wood debris, they can stumble onto the softened wood of a deck, porch, patio, stairway, shed, or some other structure. This gives them a food source near the home, thus increasing the likelihood that they will get in and feed on the wood inside the home.
Properties that have barns tend to be more susceptible to termite damage because barns usually have timbers of natural wood. If termites begin to feed on a barn, they can feed on a home at the same time. Worker termites can travel as far as the length of a football field to find food and they can feed on multiple food sources at the same time.
On the exterior of a home, termites will often focus on the water-damaged wood of the home’s sole plates. The sole plates are the horizontal timbers just above the basement walls. These timbers are usually close enough to the soil to be affected by the high humidity that can result from saturated ground and the accumulation of water near the foundation. Ground saturation can occur for many reasons. There may be a damaged or obstructed gutters. There may be compacted soil. There could be objects lying on the ground that let rainwater pool up. Whatever the reason, a rotting sole plates is a prime target for subterranean termites.
The Damage Never Stops
Once termites get past a sole plate, they will search for other sources of soft wood inside a home. This might be water-damaged wood under a kitchen sink. When water falls to the kitchen floor, it can find its way into cracks and gaps. Over time, this can cause a noticeable warping of the floorboards or a warping of the wood at the base of cabinets. But, in the floor and in the wood of cabinets, where homeowners can’t see, subterranean termites can be feeding on that water-damaged wood. Cabinets are also prone to softening from leaky pipes or a leaking garbage disposal unit. If you have these conditions in your kitchen, it is wise to address them for the safety of your home.
Moisture damage can occur in many places. Basement walls can have a lot of humidity. Window and door frames are common trouble areas for moisture. Laundry rooms, bathrooms, and indoor pool areas, all have the potential for softened wood that is attractive to subterranean termites.
Trust The Termite Control Professionals
When termites get into a home to feed on softened wood, their feeding activities can create structural weakness and cascading damage. Over time, this can turn into a serious financial hardship for a family. In some cases, the damage done is unfixable, but termite damage is preventable! Innovative uses the most trusted and eco-friendly termite control solutions available. Reach out to us and find out more. Let us help you protect your Texas home from the destruction of subterranean termites.