Things to Look for to Prevent Termite Damage to Your Houston Area Home
How to prevent termite damage to your home? Here are some things to look for.
- Look for signs of wood rot around your doors and windows, especially around the garage door.
- Look for wood or mulch piled up around your foundation and move it away from your home.
- Look for weep holes to be well clear of the ground and free of any termite tubes.
- Make sure your gutters are maintained to prevent excess moisture around your foundation.
- Remove any form boards left in the ground after pouring concrete for a patio or foundation.
- Fix any wood-to-ground contact around your home.
BUGCO’s Darrell Mather explains all of this in the video. If you’re concerned about termites, and you should be concerned if you live in the Houston area, please call BUGCO Pest Control for a professional inspection at 281-240-2157. You can also reach out to us by using the contact forms on every page or by using the chat feature at the bottom of the page.
Summary of the Prevent Termite Damage Video
Prevent Termite Damage by Looking for Wood Rot
– – So signs of termite activity, something that’s really going to be common to look for on any structure is wood rot. Over the years, your house is going to age, the wood’s going to deteriorate and as it does, that becomes what’s known as a conducive condition. We’ll go ahead and cover a few conducive conditions but lets start with wood rot. So you’ll see the wood starts to warp and bow a little bit, and it’s very common near the exterior where the garage is. Over the years the natural weathering, the sun, rain, what not’s going to deteriorate the exposed wood. So you’re going to see that in places near the back door, window seals, as well as near the garage. So you might start seeing the wood rot evidenced in the bowing or a kind of a bubbling of the wood. And then over time you might start seeing little pockets that are coming through the paint, accumulating with larger gaps that you can even possibly stick your finger through or just, you can break the wood away.
Termites love that, because that is soft wood, meaning its not going to be as difficult, as say, the new treated lumber that was just purchased from the store. That lumber has been treated, specifically for termites, to help prevent it. While its not 100% full-proof method, it is a good deterrent, so with wood rot being one of the key conducive conditions, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for that once again near the windows, back doors, or any place that’s constantly exposed to rain, or splash back, like the driveway, when it splashes back onto the base of the garage door, near the perimeter, or the border.
So keep an eye on that as well as, you may see the bowing on the inside, because if the termites get in from the window seal, they may nest just below that window seal, and over time you might see evidence of that same bubbling or rippling in the wood. That’s the weakening of the wood due to the termite damage and eventually you may even see those same pockets where the woods just been eaten up to the point where the paint is falling through, or its becoming exposed. These galleries are where the termites are now living in the window seal.
Prevent Termite Damage by Moving Wood Away from Your Home
Other things to look for on the property are going to be woodpiles or debris piles. Some people use decorative logs in the mulch bed out front. That’s not a good idea because that has all the favorite conditions that termites are looking for. It has a food source, and it has a water source, because that water source, that mulch bed, has trapped moisture, and so they have water and food, and they are right up next to your house, so any debris piles, wood piles, any brush that has been cut away.
Firewood, don’t stack it near the house. If you do stack it near the house, you’re going to want to pull it away a little bit, and elevate it on something dry; cinder blocks, a wood rack, anything that’s going to prevent the termites from coming up from the soil, and directly touching that wood. That’s called wood to ground contact, when its part of the structure.
Prevent Termite Damage by Looking for and Fixing any Wood to Ground Contact
So if you have wood on the structure, and that wood is touching the soil, that is a big no-no as well, because they can come up directly from the soil, onto the structure and that’s going to be a little highway for for them to get directly into your residence. so that’s something that we’re going to want to avoid.
Prevent Termite Damage by Removing High Soil Around Your Foundation
Alright, so another conducive condition is high soil. Your foundation should be exposed at least four to six inches. So if the soil is too high, and often times people will build, over the years, a decorative beds, flower beds, add mulch, and as that soil exceeds the foundation elevation, then you really start risking risking and exposing yourself to possible termite infestation because they’ll come up directly from the soil into what are known as weep holes. I’m sure you’ve seen ’em, they’re the little gaps between the bricks at the base of the foundation, going around the perimeter of your residence.
It’s very popular now, with new builds, new residences, that there are weep holes up high as well, but as far as the weep holes closer to the soil, or the foundation, as that soil gets built up over the years, you risk them coming up directly from the soil, into those weep holes, and it will act as, once again, a highway directly into your residence. So we want to keep the soil low, four to six inches, you want a good clearance.
Prevent Termite Damage by Making Sure Your Gutters Are Working
Also you want to ensure that there is no wood along the foundation of the home. So keep a clear perimeter around the foundation. Ensure that it stays dry, if possible. Make sure that your gutters are working effectively and its diverting the water away from the foundation. So in regards to flowerbeds or just the perimeter of the house in general, we’re going to want to make sure that the gutters are diverting the water away from the foundation so that we can ensure that it’s dry long term.
You know, if it rains, its going to dry up within the day, maybe two, whatever the case. But if you have an excessive amount of organic matter that’s built up on that mulch bed, or that flower beds, that’s also something that risk or, pretty much you’re inviting the termites to come hang out at your house right there at the foundation of your home. So if you are going to mulch it, keep the mulch low, so at the beginning of the year go ahead and you’re going to want to remove the mulch, probably lower the soil a little bit, give yourself a four to six inch clearance, and then if you do build up the mulch bed again, ensure that you’re getting rid of the organic matter; leaves, things like that, that have accumulated since last year, since last time you’ve been in the garden.
If you’re going to build that mulch bed up, try to give yourself a clearance, four to six inches, if possible. If not, you still want to be able to see the foundation, so that upon preliminary inspection, you can see whether or not termites have created the little mud tubes going up into the weep holes. It’s very common in our area, so just ensure that you give yourself that clearance.
Something else that you’re going to want to look out for is, what are known as form boards. So if, by the structure, you’ve had a patio or a deck poured or built, we want to ensure that the portions of wood that were used as the form for pouring concrete for the patio, or the structure, that those have been removed after that concrete’s dried. If the form boards remain there long term, over time its going to be the same with any other portions of the house. That’s considered wood to ground contact, and that is an invitation for termites to come feast on that wood that’s adjoining your structure, your residence. So, want to be very cautious of that.
Concerned About Termites — Call BUGCO Pest Control
BUGCO can help you with thorough, professional termite and wood destroying insect (WDI) inspections and expert termite treatment for subterranean termites, drywood termites and Formosan termites. Call us at 281-240-2157 to get started now!
BUGCO offers two of the most advanced strategies for termite elimination available. The Trelona Annual Bait Stations (please see the brochure — New Homeowner 2018) and the Termidor family of termiticides (please see the brochure — Termidor Brochure) will help keep your family and your home safe from destructive termite infestations.
BUGCO is owned by a former US Marine and many of our technicians are military veterans. Our professionalism and dedication to service are evident from the reviews and testimonials we receive from our customers. Also check our reviews on Yelp.
We give back by offering discounts to active duty military, veterans, police officers and other first responders and other worthy groups. Call us at 281-240-2157 for more information.
Articles Related to Prevent Termite Damage
- Drywood Termites vs. Subterranean Termites
- Are These Ants or Termites in my Home
- Look for Termite Mounds or Termite Tubes
- How Do I Know I Have Termites
- How We Treat Subterranean Termites