Sure, termites play a critical role in our ecosystem by helping to break down dead, organic material, but that doesn’t make us feel any better when that dead organic material happens to be our home. Unfortunately, termites can’t tell the difference between a dead tree stump and our wooden deck or patio, and since colonies can grow to thousands of termites and counting, they can cause a lot of damage before you even know that they are there.
How much damage is too much? How do you know if you can fix termite damage or if you need to replace it?
When To Fix Termite Damage
Popular culture has taught us to see termites as incredibly fast eaters who can chew through a house in a matter of days. In fact, the amount of damage a termite colony can cause depends a lot of the size of the colony, the type of termite, and even the kind of wood they are feasting on. If the termite colony in your home is small, immature, you may not experience a lot of damage.
Your first step is to get rid of the termites using a knowledgeable and experienced extermination company. After the bugs are gone, I strongly suggest calling in a wood repair expert to assess the damage. If the damage is minimal or hasn’t affected any main areas of the house (for example, if they have caused cosmetic damage then you probably won’t need to replace anything. Your wood repair expert can add sealant and stain to affected wood or spackle over cracks or holes in the wall. If the damage is inside your walls and doesn’t affect the structural integrity of your home, replacement usually isn’t necessary.
When to Replace Termite Damaged Wood
Some termite infestations do cause a lot of damage. For instance, Formosan subterranean termites live in large colonies and have voracious appetites. A medium-sized colony might have three million members who together can gnaw through a foot-long 2×4 board in just a few days. Think about how much damage these guys could cause if they took up residence inside your walls for a few months!
As mentioned above, your primary course of action is to call in a extermination company to get the termites out. You need to stop the destruction and then call in a wood repair expert to look at the damage.
The most important reason to replace termite damaged wood is if the safety of the structure has been compromised. If the stairs might cave in, the wooden beams of the ceiling are weakened, or your deck may become detached from the house, it’s time to replace the wood as soon as possible.
Additionally, it may also be a good idea to replace damaged wood if the damage is clearly visible or if the structure was already old. For instance if your deck is ten years old, then a termite infestation might be the perfect excuse to build something bigger and better, which will improve your home and its value.
If you suspect a termite infestation in your home, please contact Best-Rate Repair. We can refer you to a trusted pest control company or use our in-house division, Best-Rate Termite and send our wood repair expert to your home to assess the damage. Whether the damage is great or small, we’ll help you restore your home!