Infestations of pests are serious problems for American homeowners. Whether those infestations are rodents, insects, or other forms of creatures, infestations of animals and insects can do major damage to residential structures. In particular, termites are a type of pest that can infest and inflict significant costly damage on a home.
This post walks readers through the general timeline of a termite infestation. It should not be read as professional guidance on pests or legal advice on how to respond to infestations. Any homeowner who has concerns about concealed termite problems in their homes can contact attorneys who work with infestation victims.
Establishment of an infestation
One termite on its own may not do a lot of harm to a home. In fact, its presence may go unnoticed by a homeowner. However, termites live in groups, which become infestations when they take up residence in homes. Even infestations of termites do not do significant immediate damage; the true danger of termite infestations lies in their long-term exposure to the wood of a home.
Termites effectively work from the inside-out of a home, eating through and destroying the wood frame and structure of a residence. A homeowner may not even know that they have an infestation for years if they do not take steps to look for it.
Discovering termites when it is too late
Because termite infestations often start out of sight and take time to work through wood, a homeowner may not know their home is infested until after substantial structural damage is done. The seller of a home may attempt to hide a termite infestation, counting on its discovery to take years for a new buyer to stumble upon and possibly insulating the seller from liability for the damage. Establishing when a termite infestation began can take work and the help of professionals.
Once a termite infestation has caused damage to a home, a homeowner may face substantial bills to fix their property. When termites are found in a recently sold home, new owners can talk to legal professionals about their rights to sue for the recovery of their losses.