As a home owner, you understand how potentially serious a termite infestation can be. What you may not know is how qualified exterminators inspect domestic buildings.
Unfortunately, in some cases, home owners inexperience leads to them accepting inspections that aren't as thorough as they should be.
In this blog, we guide you through the inspection process so that you know what to expect as an exterminator identifies and evaluates any termite problems in your home.
Our weather conditions here on the Sunshine Coast make our climate one of the most inviting to termites. Because the Sunshine Coast has high humidity, high temperatures and no real cold snaps, the termite activity and numerous destructive species here mean that we have to be on the lookout for termite trouble all year round.
Termites are perhaps the most secretive and destructive type of insect that commonly infests homes. Termites primarily live, travel and eat through the inner layers of timber, so they can be difficult to spot.
In this blog, we list seven warning signs that may actually be visible in your home.
1. Mud Trails
While termites spend most of their lives inside wooden structures, they may create entrances and exits that are sometimes visible to the human eye. You may observe mud trails (termite galleries) at times, but more often, live termites will conceal themselves in the structural timbers of wall cavities or below ground level.
2. Hollow Timber
When termites eat timber, they may consume the inner layers of the wood without damaging the outermost layer. If you suspect that your home may have termites, lightly tap the suspect timbers with a solid object.
Hollow timber will sound empty and create a dull thudding noise. Taps on termite-damaged wood will sound different than taps on any other wooden surface in your home.
3. Insect Swarms
If you notice swarms of what look like flying ants around light fixtures in your home, these winged insects may actually be termites (alates). A swarm of alates indicates that a termite colony has matured and some of the insects are leaving to establish new termite nests.
Swarms are most likely to occur during damp or humid conditions. If you can, catch one of these insects for a professional termite identification. Termites look distinctly different from other common flying insects like ants and beetles.
For example, termites tend to be a lighter color than other common insects and have no discernible 'waist', unlike most ant species.
The termites that you may see swarming are the insects in the colony capable of reproduction. When these swarms leave an established colony to find a new place to settle, they intentionally shed their wings upon landing since they will no longer need to fly.
You may notice piles of insect wings around your interior or exterior walls if your home has become newly infested by a colony of termites.4. Paint Damage
If you have a termite infestation, the termite activities may become visible due to paint warping. Specifically, you may notice that your paint begins to look malformed, bumpy or stained or to feel spongy when touched.
This malformation occurs when the wood underneath the paint has been consumed or weakened to the point that the timber no longer supports the shape of the paint.
5. Pinpoint Holes
When termites have built up in sufficient numbers behind your wall linings, you may see pinpoint holes on the wall surface. These holes are usually blocked up with termite muddings on closer inspection.
6. Sagging Floors
One of the most significant threats of a termite infestation is that the damage will affect a home's structural stability. If you have termites in your flooring or subfloor for a long period of time, your walking surface may change dramatically.
You may observe sagging, sponging, creaking and crumbling in the affected areas.
7. Cracked or Warped Wall Linings
The presence of cracked or warped walls or ceilings may be an indication that the structural integrity of your home has been compromised.If you notice any combination of these termite warning signs, schedule a termite inspection as soon as possible.
They destroyed a house in Buderim, see our last post
Termites turn roof timbers to sawdust: Termite expert Ben Herbert reveals extensive damage in the roof of a Sunshine Coast home.
IF YOU thought the revelation this week a Buderim home was declared uninhabitable because of termite damage was an isolated incident - you would be wrong.
Sunshine Coast pest inspector Ben Herbert, from Expect the Best termite experts, said he was called out all the time.
"Once, every couple of months, a home on the Sunshine Coast is declared uninhabitable," Mr Herbert said.
Most, thankfully, can be rescued without knocking the entire home down, but it comes at a considerable cost.
Mr Herbert sent through a video of a pest inspection in a roof cavity. At first glance it looked perfectly normal.
But a gentle tap from Mr Herbert and the wooden truss holding the roof up crumbled like a piece of dry bread.
"It's been a very long season this year, mostly because it has been so warm," Mr Herbert said.
"When I talk to other pest controllers on the Sunshine Coast, they are also very busy."
Mr Herbert said most people - as in the case of the 12 Raintrees Ct, Buderim home owners - are blissfully unaware their most valuable asset is being destroyed bite by bite.
"In less than 5% of cases there is evidence of termite activity where they will come out into open views," he said.
"Mostly it happens underground. That is why brick veneer homes on a concrete slab are so vulnerable. You can't go underneath and see what is going on."
And if you can hear them, you know you are in deep trouble.
"Occasionally can hear them, when they have built up in large numbers the soldiers in it bang their heads on the side of units and that makes a rattle."
Mr Herbert said it only happened "once every year or couple of years" that he saw a home that had to be demolished.
This week along he has had three "active" termite calls.Source: http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/watch-coast-roof-crumbles-from-termite-damage/3042127/
Termites are a perennial problem for many Australian homeowners. Sunshine Coast homes are particularly vulnerable to termite attacks due to our warm climate and the high population of subterranean termites along the state's coast, but any home built from timber is at risk of termite infestation. However, some homes seem to suffer from more frequent attacks than others.