Termite infestation – What does it actually mean?
Every homeowner or potential homeowner is scared of a termite infestation. We’ve all heard of them and how much they can damage a house, but do you know what termites actually do?
Here is the facts: Termites are small insects that feed on wood, they live in colonies, and Australia is home to the most invasive of the 3,106 known species. For prospective homeowners this means they are a big risk to your new home. Termites need to be considered when getting building inspections done, and we at House Inspections Melbourne are aware of that.
For the untrained eye, signs of termite infestation are only obvious once large amounts of damage is caused. This often costs thousands to repair. Without a proper timber pest inspection, you could move in and find your house being eaten apart only a few months in. Below are the biggest risks of a termite infestation, and what you need to be aware of to stop these pests!
Termites Eat Your House From Inside Out
Termites eat away at the wood in your house, often from the inside out. This means that signs of damage are hard to find. Damage can cause hollow and weakened wood and even sagging floors. They often start by drilling in a honeycomb pattern, and making tunnels across an entire house. They are able to crawl up walls and travel quite a distance from their nest. By the time wood damage is clearly visible this normally means that a significant amount of wood has already been eaten through and the damage is major.
They Cause Noise
In heavily termite infested areas, termites can be heard, particularly at night. Termites communicate with others in the colony by tapping on wood to warn of danger, with the signal being passed along the infected areas. This is something that can be hard to detect without special equipment designed to do so.
They Leave Droppings
Termite droppings are small and dry, easily mistaken for sawdust or sand. Termite droppings can be a good warning sign of a termite infestation, because they are not necessarily distinctive they can be missed when not looking for them. This isn’t limited to just feces droppings. Flying termites lose their wings when finding a mate, dropping them into your home. The good part about this is that this is often the beginning signs of an infected area. If picked up on, it can be addressed before major damage is caused.
They Cause Moisture Damage
Termites produce moisture when eating. This moisture damage combined with the weaker wood and can easily appear to be unrelated water damage, if not treated correctly. Signs of this can be can be buckling wood and swollen roofs, as well as tight fitting windows and doors.
They Cost Money
The cost of a pre-purchase building inspection is nothing compared to the cost of a full termite eradication. For 1 in 5 termite infestations this can mean full evacuation of the home. This leaves the homeowners needing to find alternate accommodation, often an extra expense. Even once termites are believed to be gone from the home, most experts suggest installing further preventive measures. It’s also important to have frequent checkups to ensure the infestation doesn’t come back.
On top of the cost of eradication, is the cost of repairs to the home. Home Inspectors Melbourne has covered customers tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs with our Timber Pest Inspections. Unlike some other potential dangers of owning a home, termite infestations are not covered by most insurance companies. This unfortunately leaves you responsible for the full cost.
We know this sounds like a nightmare for homeowners, but our building inspections, including timber pest inspections will leave you with all the information needed to move forward. We can also suggest routine termite inspections for peace of mind in the future of your home! Contact us today to set up your inspection.