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Termite Management and Prevention
There are plenty of things to worry about when owning a home: the mortgage, your resale value, and even how it looks to your guests and neighbors. Even if you are keeping up with all these details, you might want to start looking at your home a bit more closely to see if you may have termites. Termites are a common sight in homes across the world, causing more damage and property loss than fires and floods. To help you minimize the possibility of termites in your home, follow these tips.
What Do Termites Do to a Home?
A termite is a small organism that can infiltrate the wood of your home. Due to the fact they only need water, food and shelter to stay alive, it can be difficult to stop an infestation once it occurs. By knowing what the termite needs to live, you can begin to identify problem areas.
When a termite gets into your home, it begins to eat at the cellulose that the wood contains. This is how they get nutrition and can multiply in number. Termites need to eat dead wood, which, in most cases, is what homes are made from. The constant feeding by termites weakens the wood and causes the structure to become unsound, which can not only be detrimental to your home, but also unsafe for both you and your family.
Getting Rid of Excess Water
One of the easiest steps in termite management and preventing the spread of termites is sealing off your home from excess water. Since most homeowners are already concerned about dry rot, they already take extensive measures to be sure that their home is not sitting in extra moisture. However there are simple ways to prevent water build up thus preventing termite infestations:
- Keep rain water and other water sources away from the foundation - Slope your soil around the foundation to run water away from the house. Clean out your gutters regularly, and make sure that your down spouts are moving away from the home. Also, use draining tiles, if that is how your home is constructed.
- Keep sprinklers pointed away from your home when in use
- Repair any leaks in your home
- Don't use a large amount of mulch - this can collect and hold moisture
- Keep plants at least three feet away from the home - their roots trap moisture
- Make sure your crawl space is adequately secured and is not trapping water
If you want to be sure that you are doing what is right for your home in terms of moisture, you might want to check with a basement sealing company to see what levels of moisture they find around your home. Sealing off your foundation might be the perfect way to not only protect your foundation, but also your home from termites.
Getting Rid of the Wood without Getting Rid of Your Home
Because you can't simply replace the wood in your home with other building materials, follow good recommendations when you want to remove or manage termites in your home. By removing their ability to access the dead wood in your home, termites will not have any reason to stay in your house's structure.
- Get rid of any wood debris that might be around your home - stumps, roots, etc.
- Don't store firewood near or in your home
- Lower your mulch levels to be below the wooden parts of your foundation
- Have your wooden foundation pieces at least six inches above the soil
By making it hard to get at the wood that's in your home, you will keep these nasty termites away from your house.
Blocking the Termites' Path In
If you are leaving the door open for termites, they're going to find a way in no matter what else you do. You need to make sure you're not giving them easy access to your home's wooden areas.
- Always use high grade foam boards - Lower quality board insulation can have cracks and holes in it.
- If you can't see the foundation because of the mulch height, you need to remove more mulch.
- Look for cracks in your foundation regularly
- Flower planters should not be sitting against your home
- Any plants or trellises should be away from the home's structure
By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of termites in your home's foundation and the stress that comes with dealing with an infestation. Remember: it's always easier to prevent the termites in the first place than to get rid of them once they are in your home.
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