If the wood of your home is showing signs of damage from wood-eating or wood-boring insects such as termites or carpenter ants, Innovative Basement Authority is here to help you.
A termite colony of 60,000 workers can consume a foot of 2″x4″ wood in about four months! And because species such as subterranean termites do not leave their nest except to swarm, it could be years before you’re even aware of the damage they’re causing.
Damage from wood-destroying pests such as termites and carpenter ants is a slow process. If you can catch it before the problem becomes too severe, you can prevent the lion’s share of the damage before it occurs.
Signs Of Termites & Pest Damage
Termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, beetles, and other creatures are attracted to moist, rotting wood, in which they eat and/or build their homes, causing serious structural damage.
Approximately 1 home in 30 are infested by termites annually, and these infestations can go unnoticed for 3-8 years or more.
Termites can live inside of the wood, behind walls, inside insulation, and underneath floor coverings. Along with eating wood, they can consume cellulose in nearly any form it comes in — including paper, cardboard, drywall covering — even animal furs!
They rarely (or never) emerge except when swarming. Because they tend to leave the outer surface of the wood intact, they are extremely difficult to find unless you’re specifically looking for them.
Termite-damaged wood is often hollowed along the grain, with dried mud and soil in the galleries. Knocking on wood in this condition with a screwdriver should produce a hollow sound.
Termites will sometimes also bore tiny holes through plaster or drywall. When they do this, you may see signs of soil around the edges of the holes.
Termite damage is also sometimes confused with dry rot damage.
Signs Of Swarming Termites
While encountering winged termites or ants outside of the home is not necessarily a sign of an infestation in your home, you should take special note if you see swarming inside your home. Finding termite wings, dead winged termites, or an actual swarm is a potential indicator of a serious and long-standing termite infestation.
Swarming ants and termites inside a home are attracted to light, and they can often be found around windows and doors. If they’re seen emerging from the base of a foundation wall or from the adjoining porches or patios, this is also a good indicator of an infestation.
When termites swarm, use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate as many as you can. Be sure to save a few to show to termite inspectors afterward.
Winged Carpenter Ants (Left) have pinched-in waists, elbowed antennas, and forewings that are longer than their hind wings.
Winged Termites (Right) have a uniformed waist, straight antennae, and wings of equal size.
Addressing Infestations & Pest Damage
Before any repairs are done to your crawl space or other damaged wood, all pest infestations should be completely eliminated in the structure.
Too often, a home is repaired while enough of the pest infestation remains for the colony to recover and infest the repaired areas.
Once the infestation threat is gone, the repairs can be made. In crawl spaces, damaged or rotting beams should be completely replaced, or a sister beam can be installed to reinforce compromised structural wood.
Crawl space jack posts can be used to reinforce sagging or damaged support columns. We provide steel, adjustable crawl space jacks that can be used to gradually attempt to restore your sagging joists to their original position.
Next, your wood should be treated to discourage and prevent future infestations. Borate-based products and similar treatments are safe, non-toxic ways to eliminate pests such as termites, ants, cockroaches, fleas, and other wood-destroying pests.
Sealing The Crawl Space
Finally, the crawl space should be completely sealed. The crawl space vents should be sealed off to prevent termites, ants, and other pests from accessing them, and the walls and floors should be covered with a durable plastic liner.
An airtight crawl space door should be installed, and a sump pump should be installed if flooding occurs in the space. Since wood-eating insects thrive on moisture and damp wood, a self-draining, energy efficient dehumidifier should also be installed.
Free Crawl Space Repair Quotes
If your home has been damaged by pests, we’re ready to help you restore your crawl space and help keep it pest-free for many years to come. To schedule a free crawl space repair quote in Bismarck, Saint Cloud, Eden Prairie, Grand Forks, Minot, Anoka, Andover and nearby contact us today!
View more crawl space problem signs