Many people believe that termites are a death sentence for your home. Whether you are buying, selling or staying in a home, you really, truly, don’t want termites living there. In Florida, with its humid climate, termites can thrive in the moist environment.
Types of termites
In Florida, there are a few types of termites here. They include:
- · Subterranean termites – require a moist environment and are the most-common termite in Florida
- · Dampwood termites – like water-saturated wood
- · Drywood termites – need very little moisture
- · Conehead termites – not common in all areas of Florida and needs a moist environment
How do they get in?
Foraging – While looking for food, termites will enter your home looking for wood, cardboard, paper.
Swarming – They leave their original colony as it becomes too large and fly to a new home, usually during spring and summer.
Signs of an infestation
Check your windowsills and light fixtures, where if you have a termite infestation, you’ll notice large piles of termite wings. You may also notice piles of dirt built-up on the window sills or around baseboards. As well, if wood looks like it is buckling, warped or sounds hollow, there could be a good chance you have a termite infestation. While many call spring “termite season”, termites forage year-round. Generally you may only see them in the spring when swarms leave the nest, looking to build new colonies.
Damage to homes
It is estimated that termites cost about $5 billion damage to homes annually, which is more damage than floods, fires and hurricanes combined. This is because it is difficult to know if you have termites until the actual damage is done. Another sad fact is that insurance companies in Florida do not cover termite damage.
Many believe that concrete block homes can’t have a termite infestation and these are limited to wood framed homes, but this isn’t true. If there are cracks or spaces around your home, they can easily get in and eat your walls, which are of course made of wood.
There are varying ways to prevent and remove termites, but it is probably best to let a professional handle your termite problem. Before buying a home in Florida, it is best to get an inspector to check the home for termite infestations, so you can know what you are getting into before you sign the offer.
If you need any help with the purchase of a home in Florida, or selling a home with termite damage, let’s chat.