Friday, 24 July 2020

How to Prevent Termites from Damaging the Wall Insulation in Your Home

Many states in the US, including Alabama, California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, witness frequent termite infestation throughout the year. Numerous urban and suburban structures in these states are standing right above multiple subterranean termite nests. Unlike damp wood and dry wood termites, subterranean termites build colonies in places with moist or damp soil. Besides damaging wood, subterranean termites also destroy wall insulation, which often results in higher electricity bills. A study has found that a subterranean termite colony comprising a minimum of 60,000 individual termites can eat lumber measuring 2 feet by 4 feet in one year. A colony of nearly one million termites can eat away structural wood in homes within a short period. They can also inflict major damage on wall insulations.

How to Prevent Termites from Damaging the Wall Insulation in Your Home


Why Are Insulation Damages by Termites a Serious Issue?

Home insulation has a thermal resistance called R-value. All insulation materials come with an R-value. A high R-value indicates a higher resistance to heat loss. Despite the higher expenses attributed to an increase in the R-value of a home's insulation, it pays off in the long run as such improvement lowers heating bills.

Most insulation products come with a layer of plastic-lined paper that maximizes resistance to heat-loss. As paper contains cellulose, termites feed on the insulation lining. Such damages by termites reduce the R-value of insulation and consequently increase heating costs. In fact, termites can damage a home's insulation extensively by accessing wood. Besides paper and wood, termites can even damage insulation with fiberglass.

A study carried out in Florida revealed that termites could infest and damage a home's insulation until its efficiency in terms of warming goes down by 75 percent. In addition, researchers at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida tested the extent to which termites can damage insulation. They used materials like plywood and foam board insulation. At the end of the experiment, researchers found that termites damage both the construction materials. However, the damage to foam insulation was more, which reduced the insulation's effectiveness by 27 percent. This is why the International Residential Code, the model building code of the US, prohibits using below-grade foam board in high-risk areas prone to heavy termite infestation.

Considering the Termite Factor When Insulating a Home

Here are the key factors to consider for preventing termite infestation while insulating a home:

1.     Fiberglass Insulation: At the time of installing new insulation or repairing an old one, use standard fiberglass batt insulation and sprayed in closed-cell foam insulations.

Closed-cell foam insulation resists moisture and contains a higher R-value compared to standard batt insulation. In addition, this type of insulation strengthens the structure of the subfloor system.

2.    Termite Treatment: Consult with a reputable termite control company before doing any repairs or modifications in the crawlspaces. The termite control company you consult first needs to treat the crawlspace soil before you install the liner. If your property has not gone through soil treatment and is not under warranty with a termite control firm, it would be better to get it done.

Chose a termite control company that provides excellent inspection services and a detailed estimate regarding the termite treatment.

3.   Dehumidifier: It is a good idea to install a dehumidifier in crawl spaces to ensure adequate air supply. It also prevents the accumulation of moisture. Subterranean termites prefer damp or moist areas to build their colonies. This is why taking preventive measures can save you money, time, and energy.

Closing Words

If you do not have a termite control agreement for your home, think about getting one now. Termites destroy properties in the US worth billions of dollars every year. Eliminating these insects is one of the key steps towards protecting your property. If you live in and around California, we can surely help you out as we serve in as many as 15 service areas, including San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Clara.

We offer fumigation, non-fumigation and termite damage repair services at economical costs. To get a free estimate fill out this form here. You can also call us at (888) 322-8889, and we will be glad to assist you.

How to Get Rid of Termites from Hardwood Floors

Do you suspect that a termite infestation is damaging your hardwood floor? If you are right, then it could be a serious issue as termites can eat away the floor. Although termites generally prefer to feed on softwood floors or support structures like floor joists, they can damage hardwood parts in a house as well, including hardwood floors.

Besides hardwood floors, building foundations, walls, and ceiling beams are also at risk of a termite infestation. Especially if there is a colony of termites living and thriving underneath your house, they can make the structure hollow and fragile.

In this post, we will discuss why termites pose a massive threat to your hardwood floor, what the signs are and how to get rid of termites.

How to Get Rid of Termites from Hardwood Floors


What Are the Signs of Termite Attack on Hardwood Floors?

Termites do infest hardwood floors as much as soft floors and structures. However, it takes longer to damage hardwoods. When that does happen, there are some apparent signs that homeowners often overlook. If you do not notice the signs anytime soon and leave it uncontrolled for a few years, termite colonies can destroy the hardwood floors. Repairing the damage or replacing the floor would be costly.

Here are some of the signs to be aware of to find out if there is a termite infestation in your home:

  • Mud Tubes/Leads: Termites usually, build mud tubes/shelter tubes or leads in moist places outside the house to access the interiors through tunneling.
  • Frass: This is termite feces that you may find near or along wall cracks which are used by termites as exits. Frass pellets have a pointed shape on one end.
  • SquishyWood Flooring: If parts of your hardwood floor get soft or squishy and you are able to easily penetrate it with a sharp tool, it is likely to be a termite infestation issue.
  • Termite Swarming: This usually happens in the evenings as termites are attracted to lights, such as lamps or bulbs. After that, termites typically shed their wings and you will see discarded wings around your house. These are visible signs of an infestation.
  • Empty or Hollow Sound: If tapping your hardwood floor gives an empty or hollow sound, it could be termite damage. The floor produces a hollow sound due to the cavities that termites leave.
  • Detached or Raised Floorboard: If termites eat through the joists and subfloor of your hardwood floor, it will raise or detach the floorboard. 

How Can You Keep Termites off Hardwood Floors?

It is possible that your house has been suffering from termite infestation for a long time and the termites have been damaging your hardwood floors. The only way to find out if termites are still there is to look for fresh feces. However, this can be misleading since termite feces are dry. After cleaning up, if feces surface again, it is a telltale sign that there is still an active termite colony.

There are various chemical and non-chemical solutions available to treat termites. If you hire a professional termite control company, they can eliminate these insects through methods like baiting or by using liquid pesticides. Termite controllers set a bait outside the colony’s entry and exit points. Termites die once they feed on it. In the second method, termite experts spray liquid pesticides on the soil around the house to kill termites. However, regular chemical solutions have not been effective. It is preferable to seek a termite control firm that uses state-registered non-repellant chemicals to eliminate termites.

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                                              Related Blog: Termite Prevention Tips

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Termites can inflict serious damage on your hardwood floors and other wooden structures. If you have noticed signs of a termite infestation, it is best to contact a reputable termite control services provider instead of trying DIY ways. Termite control experts will apply chemicals or powders to treat termites effectively.

Besides killing all the termites that invade your space, a leading termite control firm can also inspect and identify additional structural issues due to termite damage and submit a report to you on the same. For more details, call (888) 322-8889 or send an email to info@hitechtermite.com, and we will be happy you assist you.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

5 Tips to Keep Your House Free of Termites This Season

The spring season in the US is officially over, and summer has set in. However, there is still some time left before those humid and sweaty days. In most states in the country, the weather is always pleasant and sometimes a little moist. This is the time when thousands of pesky intruders silently invade your home.

Here we are talking about termites that swarm the cities and get on to destroying the wooden structure, furniture, or other stuff to extract cellulose, their primary food source.

During this time of lockdown, you have time and opportunity to keep your home termite-free this season. In this post, we have listed five tips that will help you get rid of termites.