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  • Mark North

Termite problems

Termite Problems

Buying a home can be an exciting process. But a surprise termite infestation can turn a dream home into a nightmare.

Termites can cost the average home or business owner thousands of dollars. These pests can do more than just structural damage — they can destroy priceless family photos, heirlooms, and other irreplaceable place items.

It's a common misconception that termites only thrive in warm, tropical environments. In fact, termites can even be found in big cities like Toronto or Ottawa.

In Canada, homeowners should be on the lookout for three different types of termites: the damp wood termite, the eastern subterranean termite, and western subterranean termite. World-renowned termite expert, Dr. Nan-Yao Su, told ConsumersAdvocate, which recently rounded up the best termite control companies, that “subterranean termites account for 80% of economic impact."

Termites are difficult to spot and completely silent. But a qualified inspector should be able to spot a few tell-tale signs:

Mud tubes around the home- These tubes are typically not very large, but they may be around termite nests, wood structures, concrete, or stone foundations. These tubes help termites get around and keep them from drying up.

Wings - Sometimes leftover piles of wings can indication of flying termites. In spring, termites will swarm looking to mate and start new colonies. Wings can be a sign that an active colony is nearby.

Hollow Wood - Cracked or hollow wood may mean that termites have already gotten to work on that area. As termites eat through wood, drywall, or mulch, they leave tunnels throughout the structure. In some cases, this can, unfortunately, mean the wood is too far gone and beyond repair. Spotted, striped, warped, or discolored wood can also be a sign.

Droppings - Some termites will leave behind droppings or "frass," which can look like small piles of coffee grounds, tiny pellets, or shaved wood.

Given the fact that these silent destroyers can cause extensive damage, it's wise for any new homeowner to get a once-over their property before buying. A thorough, qualified home inspection is the first step towards making sure there are no future surprises.

If you are thinking about buying a new home and want to avoid costly termite damage, give us a call at Red Bear Home Inspections to get a full report.

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