“Termite damage” is never fun for a homeowner or commercial property owner to hear — because it is often extensive, complicated to repair, and expensive. While these words can be frightening, ignoring the signs of termite damage can be even more detrimental to the integrity of your property and the safety of its residents.
Because termites are not obvious to the human eye and do most of their destructive work within the walls and floors of a building where they can’t be seen, it can be challenging to identify whether or not you actually have a termite infestation. Let’s explore five key indicators that termites may have invaded your property and caused damage to the structure of your home.
1. Bubbling or Peeling Paint
If the interior paint or wallpaper appears to be bubbling or peeling, this may indicate termite damage happening in the drywall. Why? Because when termites eat through the drywall, they create gaps between the wood and the outer surface that allow moisture and air to get under the paint or wallpaper.
Bubbling or peeling paint could also be an indicator of water damage, which is another serious matter that should be addressed immediately. If you notice any air bubbles or paint chipping on your walls or ceiling, it’s crucial to deal with the situation quickly before it worsens.
2. Sagging Floors and Buckling Walls
If your walls and floors are sagging or buckling, this usually indicates very extensive termite damage. If termites cause enough damage to the structural joints or wood panels of your home, they can compromise the structural integrity and may even lead to building collapse if left unaddressed. Another sign of the floor joists weakening is curling laminate flooring.
Due to the safety concerns of sagging floors and buckling walls, it’s imperative not only to contact a professional to address the issue but also to remove all family members and pets from the dangerous environment.
3. Maze-Like Tunnels in Walls or Furniture
Termites may create networks of tunnels within the walls of your home or even wooden furniture (especially untreated antique furnishings). If you see these maze-like tunnels in your home, it’s a sure sign of termite damage!
These tunnels are slightly different than mud tubes, although both may be present. Mud tubes can be found inside or outside of your home, and are caused by subterranean termites that create a protective tunnel of dirt, saliva, and feces at or near the entry point to the exposed wood.
4. Empty, Hollow-Sounding Wood
Termites often get away with extensive damage before you even realize they’re in your home because they work from the inside of the wood out. If the wood in and around your home sounds hollow and empty when knocked on, it may be due to termites eating their way through the center of it.
5. Doors and Windows Sticking or Not Closing Properly
While not exclusively a sign of termite damage, if the doors and windows of your home don’t close properly or stick, it could be a sign of infestation. In the event of such issues, check the wooden window or door seams for swelling or damage beyond normal wear and tear. If you see water damage (swelling or softened wood), it could be due to termite activity since these infestations expose the wood to moisture.
Other Termite Warning Signs to Look Out For
Of course, it’s better to not wait until actual termite damage has occurred to stop an infestation in progress. Thankfully, visible damage isn’t the only way to determine whether you have termites setting up shop on your property. Other than actual damage to your home, here are a few other signs you may have a termite infestation:
- Termite droppings, especially if found near a hole in the wall or another wood part of your home
- A mold or mildew-like scent
- Piles of termite wings
- Live termites
Other than the scent of mold or mildew — which may not happen until later on in a termite infestation — these warning signs are pretty obvious indicators of termite activity near your home. If you have even the slightest suspicion of termite damage occurring on your property, it’s time to take action.
What to Do If You Have Termite Damage
If you believe you might have a termite infestation or see any of these signs of termite damage, don’t wait to do something about it! Homeowners should be prepared to deal with termites before damage ever occurs — and that means working with a trusted termite and pest control company!
Year-round pest control can save you significant stress and money by stopping and even preventing termite infestations before they have time to cause extensive damage. Advantage Termite & Pest Control can regularly inspect your home for termite activity and put an end to any startups with no invasive foundation drilling involved!
If you’re a home or commercial property owner in Kansas or Missouri, give Advantage Termite & Pest Control a call today and let us come give your home a thorough treatment to eliminate existing pests and deter other unwelcome guests in the future.