Termites can damage a number of structural components in a house, including support beams, posts, wall studs, floor joists, ceiling joists and roof supports. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, and the building materials required to fix it, repairs can be complicated and costly.
The most effective way to prevent termite damage is to work with a licensed termite technician who can provide annual inspections and recommend prevention and control methods, when needed. Since termites can damage homes with few signs of activity, it is important to hire a trained professional for help discovering termites before they can cause significant structural damage.
If your termite inspector finds superficial termite damage during an inspection, ask him or her about the extent of the damage. While you may see only a small amount of damage, there may be more damage beneath the surface. For example, if a hardwood floor is damaged, termites likely have infested the subfloor and floor supports beneath it.
To ensure the integrity of your home, structural components should be repaired first, before superficial damage. If damage is discovered, contact a builder to inspect the home and confirm the extent and cost of recommended repairs.
Example of structural damage:
How to Repair Termites' Structural Damage
Depending on the location of the damage, repairs can be difficult. It is typically easier to insert new, treated wood next to the damaged wood than to replace the damaged wood entirely. If you need to completely replace damaged wood, your contractor will use temporary supports to ensure the repairs do not impact the structural integrity of your home. In many cases, structural timbers are near gas lines, water lines and ductwork, which can complicate the repair process.
Whether the damaged wood is replaced or additional pieces are added, it is important to hire a licensed contractor to make sure repairs provide adequate support. In the event of extensive structural damage, you may need to consult with an engineer.