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Termites are a type of wood destroying organism that can ravage wooden structures in your home or business. Termites are invasive, tough to detect, and hard to get rid of. If you’re dealing with termites and the damage they cause, you shouldn’t deal with it alone. A trusted termite repair specialist can help.
Visible signs of termite damage include deteriorating wood, buckling ceilings or walls, and maze-like patterns in wood surfaces.
Termites survive by consuming wood, and can gnaw their way through entire wooden structures. Catching an infestation in the early stages, before termites get the chance to destroy critical structures, can be difficult. Oftentimes, a property owner only recognizes an infestation if termites happen to infest areas that are clearly visible.
If termites manage to gain a foothold, they can cause ceilings or walls to buckle and collapse. But even if you manage to exterminate the termites before they cause serious structural damage, it’s not a good idea to just leave damaged wood the way it is. Any termite damage is enough to warrant a repair by a termite repair specialist, whether it is structural or mainly aesthetic.
If you notice signs of termite damage, contact a termite inspector immediately.
The quicker you hire a pro who can identify the termite infestation and the scope of the damage, the quicker you can eliminate termites, make repairs, and save money, as the damage may not be extensive depending on when you find it. If you’re in the process of purchasing a home and a home inspection uncovers a termite infestation, don’t hesitate to work with the sellers to fix the issue. As the buyer, you don’t want to move into a home that already has thousands of dollars in repairs waiting for you.
Before you can repair any damaged wood, you need to eliminate the termites. For relatively minor infestations that are localized in one area, planting termite bait stations and/or using termite insecticide are both proven extermination methods. You can buy bait stations and insecticide online or at the store and do this yourself, or hire a pro. For more invasive infestations, you may need to look to professional fumigation. A professional will use a lethal, odorless gas to kill the termites. This process can take from a few days to more than a week, depending on the severity of your infestation. You will most likely have to vacate the premises until after the gas has dissipated and it is safe to return.
After the termite inspection is complete and the termites are exterminated, you can start on repairs to any damaged or destroyed wood.
A termite repair specialist will determine the scope of the damage and recommend the most suitable repair option.
There are typically two repair methods when dealing with termite-damaged wood: add new wood supports to the existing wood, or completely replace damaged sections of wood.
Add a wood support to the existing wood: Some termite-damaged wood is not beyond repair, and only needs to be bolstered with additional wood supports. This means that the termites didn’t quite destroy the wood, only damaged it. This is a less expensive repair method compared to fully replacing damaged wood, and is sufficient for many homes and businesses.
Replace damaged sections of wood entirely: This is a more radical repair method, done when wood structures are completely destroyed. Extensive termite damage can hollow out wood structures to a point where they can no longer support weight, meaning there is a real risk of collapse. While you may want to avoid this type of wood replacement, wood that is structurally important to your home or business must be repaired. You will not be able to sell your home until repairs are made. More importantly, seriously damaged wood elements can pose an imminent danger to the structural integrity of your home or business, and the safety of the people inside it.
These repairs are not do-it-yourself jobs. Both require the expertise of a licensed termite repair specialist who has the specialized tools and equipment to do the job. You don’t want to attempt a repair to load-bearing structures in your home or business when a termite repair pro can handle the job safely and efficiently.
So, the answer is yes termite damage can be repaired, either by replacing the damaged wood with new wood or bolstering the damaged wood with extra support. The repair method depends upon how much damage the termites have inflicted upon the wood. More severe damage will likely require tear out and replacement.