TERMITE AND ANT INSPECTION:
Termites and ants are insects that eat wood. They live in the ground in a colony and venture out to find a food source. They do not live in the wood they eat and must return to the colony or they will die. Termites and ants need a lot of moisture to survive. They become a problem when they try to consume the wood in a house or garage as food. As they live in the ground, most termite and ant damage is confined to the basement and first floor of a house. It is very rare that termite and ant damage is found on the second floor.
There are several steps a homeowner can do to minimize the chances of termite infestation.
- Remove any vegetation, mulch or soil that covers the foundation completely or contacts any wood surfaces (siding, trim, basement window frames, etc.)
- Replace wood that must contact the soil (deck supports, lattice, steps, fences retaining walls) with treated materials.
- Keep stored firewood or other lumber well away from the structure.
Termites and ants need moisture to survive. This is why they need to have access to the ground unless there is a perpetual source of moisture within the home. Be sure grading slopes away from the foundation. In addition:
- Maintain gutters regularly and extend downspouts.
- Take steps to reduce moisture in crawlspaces.
- Immediately repair any leaking roofs, flashings, pipes or plumbing fixtures.
- Improved drainage around the foundation will go a long way in prevention.
- Minimize wood to earth contact. Do not put any wood directly into contact with the dirt. The wood will absorb moisture and give the termites and ants a path to enter the house.
- Do not store wood outside against the house. Wood piles for fireplaces should be raised above the dirt and stored away from the house.
- Termites and ants can be very hard to detect as they can be inside of walls, behind cabinets, and in places that a homeowner may never look.
At Home Sweet Home Inspections, we are licensed by the DEC for termite inspections and include a termite inspection on an FHA/HUD NPMA33 form with every inspection.