Termites can cause damage your home quickly. Termites is a dreaded term in Southwest Louisiana. It is surprising how fast such a tiny insect can destroy wood! It does not matter whether you live in a $50,000 house or a $500,000 house every home is at risk for termites, especially if you are not under a termite contract! In any real estate transaction we all know how important it is to obtain a clear WDIR (wood destroying insect report) to close on a home.
I have learned how devastating termites can be first hand as I discovered termite damage in my own home ! We did not keep our termite contract current, shame on us and now I am paying the price!
Recently we discovered some odd looking planks in our wood flooring located near our front door.
Upon first glance, it appeared like there was damage to the wood glue section between the planks. I keep a door mat at the entrance so this section was covered and we don’t see it everyday.
I called the flooring company where the floors had come from to come and look so we could get the damaged planks replaced. The Flooring guy had never seen anything like it before and said the boards were soft that it could be termites!
Once the termite company came out they confirmed the damage was termites and that our house would need to be treated which includes drilling into the concrete slab and some of the sheetrock in the front wall.
This is threshhold to the front door that was also damaged. Once the flooring company pulled up the damaged flooring you could see the termites in the corners near the door and moving around under the concrete!
We purchased our home as a new construction home six year ago. The wood floors were already in the home, however we discovered that the floors were not laid properly. Apparently the builder’s contractors had glued the wood planks directly to the concrete slab and this type of wood flooring is designed to be laid as a “floating floor” that you snap together. The flooring installer said you usually always have a pad or barrier between the concrete slab and the wood flooring that is what makes it a floating floor! He could not believe it had been glued down incorrectly and that created a problem with correcting just a section of the floor to be level.
Move Vegetation away from the Slab
Every home inspector will tell you that you never want to have vegetation up against your house because the soil and the mulch attract insects. Once again something the builder did incorrectly was install the flower beds up against the brick slab!
The termites entered through the weep holes in the brick and had eaten from the front wall to the wood flooring! We discovered that soil and mulch was 8″ too high above the slab and covered the weep holes in the brick!
Not only was the soil and mulch an issue but this area stays moist with the sprinkler system and termites like moisture!
I had a professional landscaper come to add a rock barrier to our flowerbeds, which is a frequent landscape technique that you see with new construction homes in Southwest Louisiana.
Next step was the “Termite treatment” The termite company applies a Termidor chemical all around the slab of the exterior of the house.
A trench is dug up next to the slab and flooded with the chemical making a mudpie up next to the brick slab.
Termites can damage your home quickly, keep your home under termite contract. Repair, replacement and treatment for termites is costly!
Another lesson learned is that when buying a new construction home:
- always check to see how flooring is being laid to avoid problems in the future.
- and how the landscape is being finished, you don’t want any soil or vegetation up next to the slab!