Every year, termites cause at least $5 billion in damage to over 600,000 homes in the United States alone. The sad reality is that much of that property damage is easily avoidable with a little prevention. There are at least seven sure-fire ways to reduce the risk of termite damage to your property.
Eliminate Outdoor Termite Refuges
Termites are more likely to find their way into your home if there's an enticing environment surrounding the building. Clean up the yard on a regular basis and get rid of tree limbs and leaves lying on the ground. Keep woodpiles at least 20 feet from the house.
Ensure Adequate Ground Drainage
The kinds of termites that attack the lower portions of a home prefer damp environments. To reduce the odds of an infestation, it's important to keep water away from the foundation. Use a combination of gutters and gravel on the ground to divert rainwater away from vulnerable lumber.
Treat Sill Plates and Foundations
Termites often gain access to a home through the sill plates that support the first floor. If possible, spray your sill plates and rim joists with a sodium borate solution to ward off pests. Use sodium borate barriers underneath sill plates when constructing additions.
Seal the Gaps in the Exterior
Pests like termites tend to take the path of least resistance when infiltrating a home. Use a silicon-based sealer to fill the gaps between corner boards and siding. Inspect the exterior for cracks in the siding and fill them with wood putty.
Keep Your Roof in Decent Shape
A leaky roof that doesn't drain well is a magnet for termites since it traps moisture. Inspect your roof every summer and replace any missing shingles or tiles. Make sure that attics and the undersides of roofs are properly insulated and ventilated.
Spray for Termites Periodically
At the end of the day, the only guaranteed way to eradicate termites is to treat your home with pesticides. A knowledgeable pest-control company can safely kill off existing termites and prevent them from coming back any time in the near future for a reasonable fee.
Eliminate Humidity Trouble Spots
Certain areas of a home such as basements, crawlspaces and utility closets tend to trap moisture more than others and attract termites. Use energy-efficient dehumidifiers and pipe insulation to control humidity in all of the dark, damp places that termites like to congregate.
The Fight Against Termites Never Ends
If you want to avoid shelling out a fortune on termite damage repairs, spending a little money up front on prevention is a wise move. The simple tips mentioned here will greatly reduce the odds of a major termite problem in any home.