Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Termite Control with Pre-Treatment

For the average homeowner, termite concerns are usually limited to worries about damage to woodwork in the house and to trees and plants outside. While these are genuine concerns, what is often not appreciated is that there is a type of termite that can cause damage to the very structure of the house. These are known as subterranean termites and as their name says, they live underground, at the level of the foundation of a normal home. The damage they can cause could, in the worst case, affect the integrity of the structure. These termites are common in California which is why architect and builders often include special treatment against these termites in the building plans for new structures. This is known as pre-treatment.

How Pre-Treatment Is Done

There are 3 methods that are commonly used for pre-treatment.
  1. The soil surrounding the foundation of the building is treated with special termiticide to kill any existing termites. The area is then sealed to prevent any termites from getting into the building in the future.
  2. Liquid termiticide is applied all around the foundation to pre-empt any termite infestation or nest formation.
  3. Liquid termiticide is injected directly into the foundation walls and also over and under the concrete slabs to stop termite entry.
Which One is best for Your Home?

Soil conditions, the history of termite activity in the area and other factors are taken into account when deciding on which of the pre-treatments to use. A professional termite control company will have the experience, knowledge and equipment to determine which method is the best. The actual treatment itself, whatever option is chosen, is a complex procedure and if not done correctly, may fail in its objective of protecting the home from termites. Here too, a professional termite control company will be able to ensure that the treatment is done the right way to offer effective and long lasting protection.

Why Take Chances?

If you are planning on building a home for your family, it is a once in a lifetime investment. It is extremely costly and can involve a great deal of anguish when the unexpected happens. However once the home is complete, all that is forgotten in the joy of living in a new home, designed for your family. Why take a risk with something happening in the future to destroy that happiness? Especially if it is avoidable? Termite infestation is as real a threat to your home as burglary, fire and other hazards. You install security devices and fire alarm systems to protect your family. Termite protection is just as important.

Protecting your biggest investment requires special care. When it comes to termites, use only the services of a company that is a specialist in the field. Look for one that offers a full range of service from pre-treatment to infestation eradication. Choosing one that has a variety of treatment options so the most suitable one for the specific problem can be applied effectively.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Concrete Structures and Termites

One of the most dangerous of termite related myths is that if you live in a house made of concrete or brick, you don’t have to worry about them. True, termites do not eat concrete or brick. But there will always be wood in almost any building.

Where the Damage Occurs

While concrete block construction reduces the amount of wood used in a building, it does not completely eliminate, the use of it. There will be wood on the walls and in the form of fixtures on the floor. Wood will often run down to the floor slab and this will attract subterranean termites, which live underground but climb up to feed on available wood. There are also wooden strips, known as “furring”, which are placed inside the building’s concrete walls to provide a mounting surface on which dry walls can be erected. These offer an easy pathway for termites to spread through the building.

Another species, known as dry wood termites, do not need a wooden connection to the ground to enter a concrete structure. Swarms of these pests travel through the air and can enter a building through any above ground openings. The most common way of entry is through the attic or storage spaces close to the roof. They begin feeding here and work their way down in search for more food.

How They Get In

  • There are usually minute cracks in the slabs that some buildings are built on. These occur when the new concrete is drying or when soil under the buildingsettles. The cracks provide easy access to termites. Termites are known to travel under carpeting from the crack to the nearest wall where they consume the wooden sills and studs.
  • Where concrete slabs meet, there are what are known as expansion joints. Car ports, bay windows patios and garages often have separate slabs from the main building. Termites can crawl up these gaps to enter a building.
  • The slabs under a building have openings in the concrete to allow pipes to enter the structure. If an opening is not completely sealed around the pipe, the small gaps that remain are enough for termites to enter and start eating the wood in the wallswhere the pipes run.

If you see tiny mud tubes on the exterior or interior foundation walls of your building, then this is an indication there are termites present. These tubes are their highway between their nests and the wood that is their food source. Finding these tubes is not easy, often only a professional is the only person who can spot them.
 
The longer termites infest a building, the more damage they cause. Spotting the early signs of termite infestation is not easy.A regular check of your building, by a professional termite inspector, will ensure the presence of termites is caught in time before serious damage occurs. There are different species of termites and different types of damage. A full service termite control company that can do the inspection and has the equipment to provide a full range of termite treatment options is the best way to protect your building or your home.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Can Termite Damage Be Repaired?

Generally, after a termite infestation, repairing your home will depend on the extent of damage caused. It is very rare for termites to damage a house to the extent that it is unsafe to live in and beyond repair, but it can happen if the infestation is not noticed and acted upon in time. There are many types of termites, and specific species also contribute to the amount of damage, each species can cause. The most destructive of all termites in this country is the Formosan termite which is a subterranean species found in southern and coastal regions. A big Formosan termite colony can destroy a house in 2 years or so, if left unchecked. Other species are not so destructive, primarily because the colony sizes are much smaller. Some of the smaller termite types can take up to 20 years to cause the same damage the Formosans can do in 2 years.

Usually, termite activity is discovered before the damage is so great as to threaten the integrity of the structure. However, termite infestation may not be visible to the naked or untrained eye. There may be no surface indications of infestation or the signs may appear to be of something else, such as water damage.  Periodic inspections by a professional termite control service are required to spot any early signs of termite damage that may not be visible to a homeowner.

In the event, termites have caused damage to parts of your home or property, repairing or restoring the damaged parts are possible. However, before embarking on any repairs to the damaged parts of your property, you should get your professional termite control company to check for having exterminated and controlled, all the active termite colony infestations. You can also have them put in place all preventive measures against any future infestations.

The Repair Options

To begin with if there is any structural damage, then supports must be placed temporarily, until further major repairs can be undertaken.

Basically, there are two primary methods of repairing wood damaged by termites. 

  • New wood can be used to replace the damaged wood
  • New wood can be attached to the damaged wood to lend support

Either of these methods work well for both structural and non-structural repairs. If cost effective measures are necessary and if feasible, then attaching new wood as support to the damaged wood, would be a good option. However, this cost effective measure may not be that sound if the original wood is badly damaged or if the damage is in an area where it is visible or if there is not enough space to make the attachment. In such cases, it would be optimum to replace the damaged wood, completely.

Moreover, if there is extensive damage to the wood supports (such as beams, wall studs, support posts, floor or ceiling joists) that supports the floors, ceilings or roof,  and if the damage affects the structural integrity and stability of your home, then replacing the entire damaged wood, would be more prudent.

You and your family have invested your time, money and efforts into making the house your very own special place, so do not let the termites eat it away. Engage a professional termite extermination company to regularly inspect your premises. Their professional termite experts will be able to spot signs of damage in the early stages and thereby help you avoid huge repair bills. Chose a company that is able to offer both fumigation as well as non-fumigation termite control services to protect your home.

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Signs of Termite Infestation

According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause over $5 billion in damage each year in the U.S., alone. They are the largest threat to wood based structures, even more than flood, fire and wind. There are 2 main types of termites in this country – subterranean termites that live underground and dry wood termites that live in wood. Both are equally bad and thrive in warmer climates, like that of California. That termites are more active in the spring is a myth - they cause damage all year round. If you are wondering if you have termite infestation, you should look for:
  • Hollow Sounding Wood: Because termites like a dark humid environment, they do not usually feed on the surface of wood where they can be easily seen. Instead they burrow into the wood and eat it from inside. A wooden surface that appears to be perfect could be hiding damage below the surface. If tapping wood produces a hollow sound, that could be because termites have eaten it up inside.
  • Frass: Frass is the name for the dropping that dry wood termites leave behind as they eat wood. It is usually the same color as the wood that is eaten and so often difficult to spot. Check your gutters, crawl spaces and downspouts regularly for any signs of frass which could be an early sign of the presence of termites.
  • Mud Tubes: Small mud tubes on wooden surfaces is a sign of subterranean termites. They use the setostore moisture as they eat the inner areas of a wooden structure. Keep moisture rich environments like mulch, firewood etc. away from the home as these are ideal places for termites to breed.
  • Discarded Wings:Some species of termites actually fly and discard their wings when they find a food source where they can exist for a length of time. These termites normally swarm in the spring, so this is the time to be on the lookout for small piles of discarded wings which will indicate that termites have found a new home in your home.
  • Cracked and Distorted Paint Surfaces: Dry wood termites can enter wood though small openings in the surface. If it is a painted surface this will often result in minute cracks and distortion on the paint. While these cracks in the paint, could also be weather or age related, the possibility of there being termite infestation should not be ignored.
Your home is your biggest investment and where you will be building your future. Do not think that termite infestation is a small problem that can be handled by using bug spray in a few areas. Before you know it, termites can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, or in the worst case, actually be the cause of serious structural damage that could put your home at risk. The best way to rid yourself of termites and protect your home and your future is to call in a pest control company that has the experience, latest technology supported techniques and the most up to date equipment to deal with these pests. That way you can be sure of sleeping safely at night, protected by a sound building structure around you.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Billions of Termites – Billions of Dollars of Loss

Tornados, earthquakes and floods cause billions of dollars of damage to property, every year.Yet these natural causes are not the biggest reason for destruction of property, but termites are. While termite infestation is a problem across most of America, California is among those states that suffers the most.

Is yourhome in danger? Yes it is;if you find signs of granular termite Frass / droppings of varying colorsaround wooden structures and wooden furniture. If you find dark tunnels of mud around the wood in your home, then yes again. You have one home and it is the center of your life, financially, emotionally and in many other ways. You cannot afford to let these bugs destroy it.

Getting Rid Of Termites – The Old Way

The traditional way of exterminating termites is by fumigation. This involves tenting the structure, sealing it up and pumping in lethal gas to kill the termites. This obviously means that the house will have to remain empty for a couple of days, all the food, drink and other consumables removed and, in some cases, the utilities disconnected. This is an effective method, but the hazardous gases used pose a safety issue, as consequent to the fumigation, the house must be aired well before it is occupied again.The disruption to the daily routine is also a major factor – the family has to check into a hotel, a home found for pets and a different dailycommute to work and schools, which are just few of the hassles.  The best and safest way to ensure that the fumigation is effective is to have the job done by a licensed and experienced termite control company.

The New Way

An alternative and new option is to opt for theanti-fumigation termite control process. This is done by using special chemicals of low toxicity that will kill the termites,as effectively as the traditional method, but with quicker results, employing just a day for the process. The chemicals are infused into the termite infested areas in the home, and no gas is used, which means that no tenting is required. The use ofchemicals which are neither poisonous nor do they leave a stain, means that you will, normally, be able to go home by the evening and return to your normal routine with the minimum disruption. At times, carefullyfocusedmicrowave energy is used. This is directed to the infested areas and since termites are 90% water, it boils and kills them. Non-fumigation extermination service, is a new and very specialized technique and not all exterminators can offer this service. If this is the option you want to consider, use a company that is qualified to offer this special service.

What It Means For You….

Non-fumigation extermination offers an effective way to get rid of termites that will cause you the minimum of hassles and protect your home, and your personal propertyinside it, from any damage, during the process. It works with the same intensity as that of the traditional fumigation process and offers the same long term protection from re-infestation.

Which Option Is Right For You? 

In somecases, traditional fumigation may be the betteroption and in others non-fumigation. In cases where there is heavy infestation, a combination of both, offers the best results. Contact a termite control company that offers both services. They will give you an objective assessment as to which is best for your home. The best companies offer a 3 year warranty for their services so you can relax in the knowledge that you are protected for the foreseeable future.