It can be shocking how quickly termites can eat through wood. Each year, termites have been known to cause more than $5 billion in property damage. They make tunnels inside the wood, further damaging the structural integrity of your home. Termites can eat your home quickly, so get help right away and don’t wait to take action against termites. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about termite damages.
How Do Termite Damages Add Up?
By the time you see the results of a termite infestation, there may be a lot of damage that’s beneath the surface. How fast do termites eat wood? Termites can spread and eat through wood quickly. This can affect the stability of your home.
If you have termites in your house it’s difficult to say exactly how much damage can take place before you decide to get a termite treatment. The type of termites, the size of the colony, and their location can all determine the amount of damage done. Even the type of infested wood can be a factor.
What Are Termite Colonies Like?
Termite colonies can range from populations of 60,000 workers to populations of 3 million. Regions such as Ballarat, Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, and Reno that have fairly warm climates mean more months where termites can reproduce and be active nearly all year long. In colder regions, termite activity levels drop down during the winter.
An eastern subterranean termite colony’s mature size is about 60,000. On average, this size colony can eat about 1/5 of an ounce of wood in one day. If you do the math, that means that these termites can consume one foot of a 2×4 pine board every six months.
However, the average size of an eastern subterranean colony contains 300,000 workers. This many termite workers can consume about one cubic foot of wood in one year. In the warm climates of the southwestern U.S., subterranean termite colonies can quickly consume large sections of housing.
In some places, supersized termite colonies containing an average of five million termite workers can be found. Colonies of this size can gorge through one foot of a 2×4 board in just 12 hours!
It can be difficult to assess the exact size of a termite infestation to know the exact rate that the termites in your home are causing damages. The smaller the infestation, the less extensive the damages and the cheaper the restoration costs will be.
How Do Termites Damage Your Home?
Termites look for and love to feed on wood and moisture. Even if all that you can see is a tiny hole or minor evidence of termites in your home, there may be a lot more damage beneath the surface. Termite damage can affect the structure of your home even if your home is primarily built of brick or masonry. Virtually all homes built today are constructed with wooden wall, ceiling, and roof framing, and if termites access those wood parts of your home, they will wreak significant havoc. Termites have been known to chew through wood paneling and drywall.
In addition to the extensive structural damage they cause, termites leave a foul-smelling odor in your home from the fecal pellets that they leave behind. Their fecal matter can cause your walls and ceilings to blister and become discolored.
All of these factors can result in serious repairs and clean up. This can further add up the longer you wait to take action. To be sure that termites aren’t hurting your home, you should do a pest inspection yourself about once or twice a week.
How Do Termites Attack You?
You can reduce your risk of a termite attack by maintaining a clean and dry environment in your home. Water leaks or unattended woodpiles around your home can create habitats in which termites can thrive. Trimming tree branches that reach near your house will lower your termite risk as well since trees can become a bridge for termites to reach your house.
Antique wooden furniture or discarded home furnishings that have not been properly disposed of are also vulnerable to termite attack. Termites like to breed in antique or improperly stored or disposed furniture.
Unfortunately, homes that have had termite infestations can sustain significant structural damage and lose significant amounts of their value unless the damage is satisfactorily restored. Preventing termite attacks before they happen is vital for the protection of your home’s value.