How to Prevent Termites in Hardwood Flooring

Written by Posted On Sunday, 18 August 2019 23:06

Termites are the natural enemies of hardwood flooring or anything made of wood in your house for that matter! They spread fast and can cause lasting damage to properties if not prevented and/or eradicated in time. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to detect termite damage until it is too late, making it even more important to find preventives so that the problem does not arise in the first place. While hardwood flooring can last for decades, its lifespan can be drastically shortened by a termite attack. Knowing how to prevent one and knowing how to put a stop to a growing termite colony can save your property, and you from having to pay major fees for major repairs.

Signs of Termite Damage

If you inspect your hardwood flooring carefully, you can more easily detect signs of a termite infestation. Watch out for the following signs:

  • Rotting and decomposing ground joists
  • Rotting wooden pillars that support the ground joists
  • Floorboards that are decomposing or which emit a hollow sound when walked on
  • Tiny holes on the surface of the floorboards that are clustered close together
  • Floorboards that swell even though there has been no waterlogging
  • Termite fecal pellets (they look like sand) found near windowsills and doors indicate infestation. The wood around the holes will be discoloured compared to the rest of the flooring.
  • Molds on damp and waterlogged wood. Termites like to inhabit such places.
  • Mud tunnels around the house are the most obvious signs of termite infestation. They use these tunnels to move around the house in search of food and moisture. You can easily break them with a knife to check whether they are still active. Old tunnels are dry and are easily cracked. If the broken tunnel is rebuilt within a few days, this indicates that there is an active termite colony in the house.

How to Prevent Termites

Here are a few preventive measures you can take against termite infestation:

  • Seal the property wall so that termites cannot burrow into the house’s wooden skeleton. Cracks in sidings and rooftops are particularly susceptible to termite attack, and other vulnerable areas in the house foundation and flooring should all be sealed shut.
  • Remove old timbers and cellulose materials in and around the house that are rotting (or that may rot in the future) to make sure termites are not tempted to come anywhere near the foundation. Resting old timbers against your building is also a bad idea as this can create a pathway for termites to invade your home. Also, be sure to clean up any dead leaves around the house as these may attract termites as well.
  • Keep your floor and other wooden furniture and materials found inside your house as free from moisture as possible. To do this always keep the house aired and dry by making sure ventilation is optimized.
  • Periodically take a close look at wooden furniture and hardwood flooring to make sure there is no sign of termite infestation. Make this a habit as termite attacks can happen at anytime.
  • Termites feed on the cellulose found in natural fabrics, so make sure your clothes and any other fabrics in the house are kept as tidy, clean and moisture free as possible.
  • Regularly check termite shields to ensure they are not damaged and renew them as needed.

Termite attacks and infestations are major problems that can be faced by any homeowner. This is a big reason why many people do not choose hardwood flooring. But keeping in mind these preventives and symptoms of termite infestations will help you protect your hardwood flooring and enjoy it for years to come.

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