Most Common Termite Wood Damage in Your Home

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Signs of Termite Wood Damage on Your Property

Many property owners tend to spot termite wood damage when it gets extensive, requiring thousands of dollars in repair costs. Even though the signs of termite damage differ from house to house, some manifestations are common in homes suffering a termite infestation.

What Is Termite Wood Damage?

Termites feed on cellulose for their survival. Wood contains cellulose, which is why these pests feed on them. Termite wood damage refers to the destruction of wooden structures that weakens building materials and structures.

Common Signs of Termite Wood Damage

Florida has almost two dozen termite species. However, the most common ones are subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites.

Here are the most clear-cut signs of termite wood damage.

  • Mud tubes – Subterranean termites create tunnels from soil and mud that lead to their food sources. These mud tubes also help to retain moisture. Typically, termites will build them along the home’s exterior, foundations, and flooring.
  • Damaged wood – Wood damage is yet another tell-tale sign of a termite infestation. Drywood termites tend to feed on wood from the inside out, resulting in a thin wood layer.

Tap your walls and listen for the sound. A hollow one confirms that the area has damage. If unsure, you can tap different spaces in your home, including the ceiling, to compare the sound.

  • Blistering – Subterranean termites are notorious for causing wood flooring blisters that may appear like water damage.
  • Frass – Termite droppings are a sign of drywood termite presence in your home. This frass looks like sawdust and will be present in visible areas because termites push them out to keep their habitats clean.
  • Termite wings – Termite alates, a.k.a., swarmers or flying termites, are the only caste with wings. What’s more, alates only come to be when a termite colony reaches maturity and is ready for proliferation. Their role is to seek mates, and once they do, they begin building a new termite colony and, in the process, discard their wings.

You’ll likely spot these wings in spots that receive lots of light, such as light fixtures and windowsills. Remember, swarmers only appear when there’s a mature colony. So, if you spot them, chances are your house already has significant damage.

Termite Damage vs. Water Damage

Unless you’ve had a termite infestation before, it’s easy to mistake termite-damaged wood for water-damaged one. Here’s how to tell the difference.

Water damage will result in “alligatoring” of wood surfaces meaning, square-shaped bubbles that are darker and, at times, will appear moldy. In comparison, termite damage results in blistering or hollow wood. That said, if unsure about the type of damage, ask yourself if the area is more likely to experience water damage or termite damage, especially if you know you don’t have any leaks.

Termite Damage vs. Wood Rot

Two types of wood rot exist:

  • Dry rot – Dry rot is a result of 20% exposure of timber to moisture. This wood rot type usually occurs if you have a leaking roof or plumbing issue. It usually manifests itself through cracked wood, gray/yellow fungus, damp smell, and damaged paint.
  • Wet rot – This wood rot occurs when you expose timber to 50% moisture, resulting in black fungus growth. Common signs of wet rot include shrinking lumber, musty odor, and discoloration.

Termite damage results in hollow wood, whereas wood rot leaves the wood spongy. Moreover, wood rot has a distinct damp smell which is not there if dealing with termite damage. Let’s not forget the presence of fungi, which are a tell-tale sign of wood rot.

Protecting your home from a termite infestation can be tricky, which is why scheduling regular pest control services is an ideal plan. If you suspect termite wood damage in your home, it’s best to contact a reliable pest control company immediately. At McDonald Pest Control, we offer comprehensive termite control and treatment services. Call us at 727-734-0963 to book a termite inspection today.