This is the time of year when homeowners begin to see visual evidence of a termite's sneaky existence. A homeowner needs to know that in order to protect a house from termite damage, they must be vigilant about keeping the termites away all year ‘round. Summers can bring heavy showers after droughts, causing a lot of standing water, which is inviting to these pests. What are some other things you can do to keep them away?

Make sure you keep water accumulation away from your home’s foundation. This means keeping an eye on water sprinklers and hoses that can create pools or streams. Other moisture culprits are leaky faucets, air conditioners, gutters, and water pipes. Keep that termite-tempting mulch at least 15 inches away from the foundation. Firewood needs to be at least 20 feet from the house (and ideally 6 inches off the ground). If you have a wood fence, visually inspect it for termite activity. If you have a diseased or dying tree, remove it so it doesn't serve as a food source.

To minimize their entry points, check your weather stripping and replace any that is missing or cracked. Look around windows and basement foundation for loose mortar and repair it.

If you are looking for evidence of termites, watch out for “mud tubes”, cracked or bubbling paint (which could also be a sign of water damage), or wood that sounds hollow when you knock on it. For the actual termites be on the lookout for discarded wings on window sills and at door entries. Sometimes termite swarmers can be misidentified as flying ants.

Termites can create significant damage to a home. They can chew through a foundation causing a collapse, eat through plastic plumbing or damage swimming pool liners. If termites are a common problem in your area, or you have had them before, it is a good idea to have an exterminator inspect your property and spray if needed. Remember, many insurance policies do not cover termite damage so keep your home protected.

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; ...see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  Psalm 138: 23, 24


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