Termites are more than just inconvenient – they are also dangerous. They can wreak havoc on your home and cause devastating damage. In fact, the National Pest Management Association claims that termites result in approximately $5 billion in property damage every year. Prevention and removal of termites can be difficult and costly, not to mention the money and effort that is necessary to restore the damage.
As with any pest, half the battle is understanding what you are up against. In the case of termites, this means knowing what type of damage they can cause to your home. Here are some of the common ways termites can destroy your home.
Short-term and cosmetic damage
At the very least, termites can cause the following types of damage:
- Holes in drywall
- Buckling wood
- Jammed windows or doors
- Bubbling wallpaper
- Swollen floors
- Mud tubes connected to infested wood
- Shelter tubes or mud tunnels on the foundation
These are frustrating and dangerous enough but are usually just the first warning signs. If you detect any of these damages, they may be indicators of deeper and more significant structural consequences.
Long-term and structural damage
There is more to termites than meets the eye. They may be as small as ants, but they can cause a lot of destruction. Termites can eat into and destroy the inner workings of your home, including:
- Support beams
- Floor joists
- Wall studs
- Ceiling joists
This type of damage may take years and thousands of dollars to resolve.
What to do about termites
If you discover a termite infestation in your home, you are likely frustrated and worried. How do you even begin to tackle this problem after purchasing your brand-new home? Your first step is to determine whether you can file a lawsuit against the seller, inspector or realtor. You may be able to hold one of these parties liable for failing to disclose a termite infestation.