Termite Damage Repair
Each year, in the United States, termites do about $5 billion worth of damage to homes and other structures. For many homeowners, this means that even after the termites are gone, the house is left with unsightly damage that most insurance plans don’t cover. What can you do about the destruction that these termites caused to your home? Can you repair it yourself, or do you have to call in a professional? The answer is really dependent on the specifics of your situation.
Termite damage to a home is far more than cosmetic. Everyone knows that termites eat wood, but do you know why? They’re trying to get at the cellulose. The most abundant organic compound on Earth, cellulose is found in the cell walls of plants. In fact, it’s the cell wall’s main component. Humans use many things that contain cellulose, from building materials to more refined materials like paper. In fact, cellulose is even in the food we eat. Termites can eat just about anything that contains cellulose, and they’ll go to great lengths to get it. They’ve got extremely tough mandibles and can chew through a surprising variety of materials, including drywall, foam, plastics, and even thin sheets of lead. It’s easy to understand how termites with this much destructive power in their jaws can do some real damage to a home.
If the termites are caught before the infestation has really taken root, only minimal repairs will be necessary. As a homeowner, you’ll be relieved to know that you can do many of these minor repairs on your own, as long as they haven’t affected the structural integrity of your home.
Sometimes, the Damage Is Minimal
If the termites have only been on the surface of your home, it’s easy to undo the damage they’ve done. Termite trails on the surface of your home are made of digested wood residue, which is a powder-like substance, along with feces, eggs, and sometimes even dead termites. Termites also make mud tubes on the outside of your home, which they use as a sheltered means of traveling back and forth into your house. Once you’ve had your house treated for termites, you can clean off any remaining tubes or trails, examining the wood underneath for damage. If you see little cracks or damaged spots, you can treat these with wood hardeners, special adhesives designed to fill in these fissures.
Even When the Damage Is a Little More Extensive, It May Still Be Something You Can Repair on Your Own
When the wood has some rotten, damaged spots, you might try fixing this yourself. The wood will be discolored or decayed looking and should be removed with a chisel. Once you’ve done that, sand it down to create a smooth surface, and then fill in the gaps with wood hardener and wait for them to thoroughly dry. If you want to speed up the process, you can use a blow dryer on the patched area. Once it’s dry, it should be sanded again, to match the original shape of the wood. You might then apply some sort of finish to seal it, carefully following the instructions that came with the wood hardener. If the damage is a little worse than can be repaired with wood hardeners and fillers but is still not enough to be considered structural damage, you might consider replacing the board itself. This might change the look of the place you’re repairing, but you may be able to paint or finish it to match.
If the Damage Is Extensive, You Will Probably Need to Call In a Professional to Make the Repairs
Advanced termite infestation is a serious matter, and can even cause ceilings or floors to collapse. In addition to mud tubes and termite trails, signs of termite damage include buckling ceilings or walls, small holes in the wall, hollow-sounding wood, maze-like designs in wooden structures, and spots that appear to be water damaged. Termites can also ruin your carpeting, walls, furniture, and flooring. Before initiating any repair work, it’s important to eradicate the termites from your home. Otherwise, your repair work will have been in vain, and you’ll have to do it all over again once the termites do further damage. A licensed professional should inspect the home to make sure the termites are completely gone before you proceed with calling in a contractor. Once you do hire someone to repair the house, those repairs can involve a number of actions. The highly damaged pieces of the house will have to be removed, which will involve disengaging wiring and plumbing connections that may be inside the infested sites. The repair person will then scrape the internal wood to remove damaged areas and use special injectors to infuse high-strength wood sealers deep inside the remaining structure. The surrounding areas will also be treated with these special injectors, because it’s necessary to refinish not only the damaged area but also the surrounding areas, to ensure that all traces of the infestation have been removed. To handle these complicated repairs, it’s best to call in a professional termite contractor, experienced in dealing with this type of situation.
Termite Damage Prevention
When it comes to termite infestations, your best bet is to prevent these destructive termites from coming into your home in the first place. At MightyMite Termite Services, we can help you keep your home safe from termites, using treatments that are naturally derived and have a low impact on the environment. mighty mite Termite Services has been serving Northern California for nearly a decade, committed to helping the community one termite infestation at a time. We diagnose and treat infestations with the most effective methods and unmatched warranties, solving your termite problems the first time, with an industry-best “no call-back rate.” That, combined with our experience, technology, and knowledgeable, experienced professional staff, makes us the leading extermination company in the Bay Area. For more information, call us today at 408-377-3761, email Info@mightymitetermite.com, or contact us through our website.