Fight Against Termite Infestation With These Prevention Tips
U.S. homeowners pay out billions each year to repair termite damage. Some species of termites can destroy a home almost before the paint dries. If termites want to eat your home, there isn't a lot you can do about it. But that doesn't mean you should make their job easy. Here are some helpful termite prevention tips.
Eliminate Water Damage That Attracts Termites
Many conditions make your home attractive to termites. Water damage is one of them. Here are some ways your home can get damaged by water.
- Clogged or damaged gutters. When gutters get damaged or clogged, water will run down and soak your exterior walls, leading to water damage.
- Improper seals around windows. Improper installation of windows can allow water to get into your wall voids and create rot.
- Damaged weather stripping. Bad weather stripping on sliding doors can lead to water damage and rotting wood.
- Leaky deck roof. If you have an area of roof that acts like a gutter by channeling rainwater away from your exterior walls, it needs to be properly maintained or it will help create the conditions termites are looking for.
- Leaking exterior spigots. Not only will a leaking spigot cost you money, but it also has the potential to moisten wood.
- Water collecting near basement walls. It is never a good idea to have water against your exterior walls.
- Air conditioner condensation. It doesn't take much water to cause fungus spores to stick. If the condensation from your air conditioner turns into an occasional drip that runs down your exterior wall, it can lead to trouble.
- Wood in contact with the ground. If your home has areas where wood touches the soil, moisture will draw up into the wood. These areas also provide quick access for termites to get into your home.
Make Your Property A No Termite Zone
Termites are looking for the ideal environment for a new colony. Subterranean termites, the most destructive termites, will choose an area of soil closest to a food source.
- If you have mulch on your perimeter, see that it is at least 2 feet from your basement walls, and check it routinely for termites.
- If you store firewood, keep it at least 20 feet from your exterior walls and 4 feet off the ground. Deadwood is a prime source of food for termites, and subterranean termites searching for a new home will often choose soil near a woodpile
- If you have bushes around your home, see that they are at least a foot away from your exterior walls. This will prevent the conditions that would make your perimeter soil dank and moist.
- Make sure to pick up sticks and leaves in your yard. Organic clutter will make termites feel right at home.
- Make sure you don't have dead stumps or trees within 10 feet of your exterior walls. These are prime termite food sources.
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