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Termite Damage to Hardwood Floors

Termites are strong ants that infest your ceiling beams, hardwood floors, and the foundation of your building. These termites can be deadly when they enter these parts of the house. Termite damage in hardwood floors can be critical when they attack as a colony. They feast on wood and for that reason, they move to where woods are dominant. They move to hardwood floors, walls constructed with wood, ways, and any construction that has traces of wood.

Termites And Hardwood

It is advisable to dismiss any idea of using wood to build the foundation of a house because it will become a big problem in the future. Termites can come in from the interior and exterior part of your house. So wherever the wood can be seen is where the termites follow. Modern homes are at lower risk because of the materials used in construction. In a home, they attack the counter cabinets, baseboards, window frame, and beams. These places should be checked regularly to notice any early signs of infestation.

These termites go about with their insatiable taste for wood looking for one to devour. When comparing a house ant and termites, you will notice that termites are lighter in color. They possess some similarities that ants possess. When termites infest your home, they are not noticed immediately except if the rain comes. This is why you should always be vigilant to notice any deformities in your laminate wood. If you get to see swarms of them after the rain then they are in your home.

They are more likely to go for softer woods than hardwoods which are more appealing to them to feast on, this should be your target when you search for them. They should be on the regular check, especially if you possess the type of hardwood they go for because termite damage in hardwood floors can be disastrous.

Signs of Termites On Floor

These are signs to look out for when you suspect the existence of termites. These signs are not always visible when they infest your wood but these signs can help you identify them when you see one.

Presence of Swarmers

Lights, lamps or bulbs tend to attract termite swarmers. When you notice their presence in these light sources then they are in the house. They also shed their wings after some time. This sign too can determine if they have infested your home. The wings can appear in light or dark colors depending on their species.

Frass

This is a name for the feces of termites. It can be found along the wall cracks. You should not overlook this fact because it is prominent. The termites make use of this frass as their exits. A frass shell is about 1/32 inches in length and it also possesses a pointed shape on one end and stubby on the other. They have the color of the wood they have been feeding on.

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Mud Leads

This is the indication of a subterranean termite infestation. They are pencil-thin in shape and can be seen on lining walls or window and door frames around the house. Mud leads can also be known as shelter tubes which termites build outside the house for protection. This will easily let them access the interior of the house. They build it in a tunnel form.

This too can help you notice the infestation of termites in your home. You only need to be vigilant and inspect the exterior and interior part of your house. They can appear on baseboards, walls, pipes, chimneys among others. They build drop tubes too when they want to build their way from the beam to the floor.

Soft Wood Flooring

Be it subfloors or whatnot, once a needle or a sharp object can effortlessly pierce your wood, the chances of having termites there would be high. Spongy woods tend to be easy prey for termites to infest on.

Hollow Sounds

If your hardwood floor makes a hollow sound when you walk or tap on it then there is serious termite damage to your home. The hollow sound is present because they are holes made by termites when they penetrate through the wood.

Raised Floorboards

When the floorboards detach or raise from your wooden floor, then it is the doings of termites. This happens because termites eat through wooden floor subfloors. When they feast on these subfloors they create tunnels that can lift the floorboard. They also eat through the adhesives that bind your floorboards to the floor. Whenever you notice a raised floorboard then you should inspect your subfloors.

The Appearance of Water Damage

When termites are present in a wood, they add moisture to it and as well soften it so they can eat the wood. With this, the floor can swell or feel soft. Most times the reverse is the case because water damage occurs before termites trace it. The moist and rotten woods attract these termites.

How do you Get Rid of Termites in Hardwood Floors

If in any way you get to discover the presence of termites in your home then these measures should help you get rid of the termites. Some of these measures are suitable for outdoor use. These combinations of methods can help improve the effects.

Liquid Termite Barrier

This method is suitable for preventive measures as it will help kill all termites in your house. This liquid can be used around your home and when the pesticide comes in contact with termites, they will die. You can use it around the foundation of the house and also some specific wooden structures, wooden piles or tree stumps. This will help eliminate the termites once they come in contact.

Poisoned Bait

No insect can resist a bait. Most people find the first method too extreme although effective, this method is the next to try out. If you cannot spray a gallon of pesticide around your home then settle for this. This bait attracts fodder and successfully spreads the poison to their colony.

You can keep it in your house, where you see termites or their signs. When a termite consumes it, the stakes appear. The poisoned bait will return to its colony where the poison will spread. These two methods are suitable for outdoor use.

Boric Acid

This is the best intermediate solution. Although not natural it is lower in toxicity than other methods. When termites come in contact with it, it will take 3-7 days for it to die. They are made in powder form and can be purchased anywhere.

Nematodes

This is a natural method that is safe for your home and has no effects on humans. Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that feed on hazardous insects, which termites are a good example of. It is important to note that these species do not attack any insects apart from hazardous ones. When they meet these termites, they capture their bodies and feed on them.

When they capture their host, they dispose of intestinal bacteria on them, which can cause blood toxicity and then death. These nematodes afterward multiply in numbers.

How to Protect Wood Floors from Termites

It is in the record that termites cause $5 billion destroying properties every year in the US. Talking about subterranean termites, they eat 24 hours a day. This proves that they are destructive. You can prevent this from happening to your home by taking these steps that will help protect your hardwood.

Repair Foundation Cracks

Leaving these termites no cracks to make their way into your home can make termites avoid your hardwood. Those tiny cracks in your foundation pose as a channel for the termites and filling them can prevent them from coming.

Diminish Soil-to-Wood Contact

Keeping your woods or cardboard away from the soil or the foundation can prevent termites from having their way. The concrete should be the only thing that touches the floor of your foundation and make sure your wood is six inches away from the soil. This process will prevent termites from entering your home because the wood would not be within their reach.

Trim Down Grasses or Vegetation Near the House

The exterior of your home should not be anywhere close to any grasses, bushes or vegetation. The tree branches should be at least 12 inches away from your exterior walls. By acknowledging this process, it will help you detect the presence of termites on time. It will also help any damp or wet place in your woods to dry out fast before it attracts the termites.

Changing your Wood Mulch

Since these termites go for wood mulch, don’t provide their favorite source of meal to them. By doing so, your home will be prone to termites. Instead of making use of wood mulch, use pine needles, straw, grass clippings or inorganic mulch which are pea gravel or river rocks. This will make the termites lose interest since it is not their choice of food.

Reduce Soil Moisture around your Home

Your gutters are meant to be clean and free from dirt. You can as well, install downspout extenders to drain rainwater away from your wooden foundation. Make sure your sprinkler does not spray water on your house. Repair all leaky spigots and terminate other sources of excess moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions?

What Does Termite Damage Look Like on Hardwood Floors?

It is not easy to spot a termite infected hardwood floor especially if the infestation just started. But there are some noticeable damages you will see on a hardwood floor and you will know that the floor has termites. Small holes, crumbling wood, sag, and buckled hardwood floors, squeaky sounds, or signs of damns are what termite damage looks like on a hardwood floor.

Are Squeaky Floors A Sign of Termites

It’s not in all cases that a squeaky floor is a sign of termite infestation. Other factors can that can cause a floor to be squeaky. But many times than not, an excessive squeaking is a telltale sign that there is termite infestation on the floor. This is because termites eat and damage the subfloor and other floor support materials causing the floor to squeak when you step on it.

Do Termites Go Away on Their Own?

No. termites don’t go away on their own. Once they find their way into your home, they damage and continue to damage anything they come across. Most times, after damaging a spot, they can find their way to another spot and continue. So a termite infestation may continue for years. The best option is to take proactive actions to prevent them from coming in the first place. Another option is to find ways to get rid of them from your home once you once them because it will only get worst.

Should You Buy a House With Repaired Termite Damage?

Yes. You can buy a house with a repaired termite damage. You can use the termite issue as a bargaining advantage to get a better deal. But after purchase, you need to call a professional to come to check to make sure the termite infestation is removed. Also, makes sure you take preventive measures to ensure the termites don’t find their way back.

What Do Termites Hate?

Termites hate heat and sunlight. That is why most times, they operate in the dark corners of the house or the subfloor. One fast way to get rid of them is to expose them to the heat of sunlight.