It’s a common misconception that only homes with a wooden exterior are at risk for termites. But the truth is that even homes with brick, stone, or vinyl exteriors can be at risk as well. Termites are responsible for billions of dollars of damage in the US each year; they’re not to be taken lightly. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent a termite infestation, regardless of what your home is made of.
Risk Factors for Termites
Too Much Moisture Near the Foundation
Subterranean termites (most common termites in Indiana) are attracted to moisture. The ground your house is built on provides the perfect home for termites, and the wood inside of your house is a source of food. Along with standing water in or around your home’s foundation, this provides the perfect environment for termites.
- Be sure your gutters aren’t clogged and aren’t allowing water to overflow.
- Make sure your downspouts are sending water at least five feet away from your foundation.
- Don’t allow your sprinkler system to cause wood siding to get wet.
- Address leaky pipes or plumbing issues quickly.
- Check that your foundation is properly ventilated and trim back or remove landscaping that could allow humidity to build up in your home’s crawl space.
- Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
Cracks or Openings in Your Home’s Foundation, Roof, or Walls
Where there is an opening, a termite will find it. In their search for moisture, termites will take advantage of any breach in your home’s integrity. Subterranean termites build mud tubes that essentially serve as a “highway” for termites. Any crack in your home’s structure provides an opening where a mud tube could be built, allowing termites access to your home.
- Periodically inspect your home’s doors and windows, and make repairs as needed.
- Check the seals where electrical conduit or plumbing lines enter your home. Be on the lookout for any seals that are loose or otherwise defective.
- Inspect your roof regularly for any damage to your shingles, fascia boards, or eaves and make repairs immediately.
- Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
Wood Structures that Come into Contact with the Foundation
Like we mentioned above, more than just homes with wooden siding can be at risk for termites. Wood is commonly found around the home, whether it’s in the form of siding, a wooden deck or porch, wood framing, fence posts, or even mulch. Even if your house isn’t made of wood, if there is wood too close to the foundation of your home, your home may be at risk for termites. Any wood that comes into contact with your home’s exterior may create an opportunity for termites to infiltrate your home’s interior.
- Remove mulch, stumps, vines, trellises, or other wood that is in close proximity to your home’s foundation.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground.
- Keep any overhanging limbs or branches trimmed back from the roof, as even your roof can be vulnerable to termites.
- Trim any tree limbs that are touching other wooden structures such as eaves or window framing.
Another factor that affects how likely your home is to be at risk for termites depends on geography. The map shown here was developed by the US Forest Service and serves as a depiction of an estimate of various subterranean termite zones based on studies conducted by the Forest Service. Typically, warmer, wetter climates are more likely to experience difficulties with termites. As you can see from the map, Indiana is at a moderate to heavy risk for termites.
What Can I Do to Protect My Home against Termites?
Along with following the prevention tips above, contacting YES Pest Pros for help preventing or stopping termite damage can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. To schedule a free inspection, follow this link, or give us a call today.