It is estimated that termites cause about $6 billion worth of property damage every year in America alone. Because the damage is generally restricted to wood and cellulose-based materials, many homeowners think that repairing the damage is something that they can do themselves or have done by a local handyman with basic carpentry skills.
Searching online will throw up a number of DIY repair options. Among the most common of these are:
- Wood Hardeners: If the damage is spotted early and is minimal, wood hardeners can be used to fill in the damaged areas while also strengthening the wood itself. It is essential that the hardener used matches the type of wood that has been damaged or the repair will not work. If the termites are not eradicated before the repairs are done, they will simply attack another wood area.
- Wood Fillers: If the damage to the wood is extensive, then hardeners alone will not be enough. Wood fillers will have to be used to fill in the gaps and cover the damaged areas. The proper application of the filler is critical to the success of the repair effort.
- Strengthening: Serious damage may require that in addition to other repair actions, additional support be provided to the damaged area to prevent it from breaking or collapsing. It is important that the support, usually in the form of beams, be placed exactly in the right place so as to provide maximum assistance, failing which the damage could spread even with the additional support in place.
- Replacement: If the wood is very badly damaged, hardening and/or filling will not be enough. The wood may be weak enough to collapse any time, causing even more damage or possibly resulting in injury to the occupants of the house.
While the repair options listed above may seem fairly easy to implement, in each case there is a need for expert knowledge without which the repairs will be ineffective. Absence of expert knowledge may lead to dangerous situations because the homeowner is under the impression that the house is safe while in reality the damage continues to spread unnoticed. The fact that the repairs have been ineffective and the damage has spread and requires major repairs to be undertaken only comes to light later. In the very worst case, the structural integrity of the house may be affected.
The Safe Repair Option
A home is not something that can be placed at risk by taking shortcuts or trying DIY termite damage repair. The only way to protect the house and those who live in it is to have the repairs done by a termite control company that includes damage repair in its services. A professional termite control service will not only perform expert repairs, it will also be able to do the required treatment to prevent future infestation. The very best termite control companies even provide a warranty on their services to give the homeowner the peace of mind that comes from knowing that he has taken the right steps towards protecting his home and his family.