Home Inspections for Water and Insect Damage

In order to keep your home in good condition you should inspect your home for insect and water damage. These types of inspections should be done, at least, twice a year in order to catch problems early in the happen to arise.

Water damage, rather than insect damage, is a more important threat to any home. When water rots the wood it is ironically called “dry rot.” This will allow fungi to develop in the wood, which will destroy the structure of the wood. The wood will become weak and fragile when the fungus destroys the girders of the wood. Moisture is needed in order for dry rot fungus to grow. If you have dry wood it will not allow for the growth of fungus but it can transport water from areas that have moisture into the dry wood through branches, therefore growth flourishes and there is further decay of the wood. If you happen to find dry rot in your home you must find the source of the moisture and eliminate it. You should replace the rotted wood and after replacing the wood treat the wood that surrounds the area with sodium borate, as this will kill the fungus. The wet season is the best time to detect water problems.

The next thing that can cause damage to your home are insects. You should especially look for subterranean termites, carpenter ants, and powderpost beetles. These three insects can cause most of the serious damage to the structure of your home. Other insects can cause damage to the structure of your home but the damage tends to be minor.

* Subterranean Termites, - Subterranean termites, also referred to as “subs” live in colonies under the soil and then they will move into the structure of a home by using shelter tubes made of mud that are built upon posts and wall foundations. The termites will consume the wood in your home and the damage can happen quickly with a large termite colony. You can find infestations of termites by inspecting the mud tubes.

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Carpenter Ants – These types of ants will build their nests in the voids in walls and also in-between floor joists. The damage from carpenter ants will happen when they expand their nests, which will damage the surrounding structure. These types of ants are unlike termites as they do not consume the wood but look for food outside of their nests. The best time to look for carpenter ants is when the weather is warm, as you can see ant trails between your house and the outside when the ants are looking for food to bring back to the nest.

* Powderpost Beetles – These types of beetles damage both hard wood and softwood alike. But the damage that these beetles do is generally in the softwood beams and joists in the house. Damp coastal climates are the areas where powderpost beetles do the most damage to structural timbers. Their eggs are laid on the wood’s surface and then the larvae will burrow into the wood where they will them consume the starch that is in the cells of the wood. It can take months or years for the beetle’s development to become complete. But adult beetles will emerge through the holes on the surface of the wood that they created. These holes are what to look for when searching for beetle infestations. The emerging beetles may infest the wood again after they emerge; therefore they set up and continue to infest the wood.

Author: Jason Green