Termite Damage to Floors

Repairing termite damage to a floor can be a complicated process. Termites rarely limit their destruction to the superficial part of a floor, as they typically prefer the softer wood that is used in the subfloor and supporting components beneath the visible flooring.

If termites damage your floor, the termite infestation should be treated before the floor is repaired. Contact a trained termite technician to provide treatment, inspections to confirm control and a review of potential structural damage. If your technician detects structural damage, particularly extensive damage, hire a professional contractor to make the repairs. He or she will have the tools necessary to handle serious repairs. For example, hydraulic jacks may be used to temporarily support a floor while beams or joists are replaced.

Signs of Termite Damage to a Floor: What Does Termite Floor Damage Look Like?

  • When termites damage floor supports (called joists), tiles may become loose and the floor may begin to sag.
  • Hardwood floors may show evidence of termite damage, although the damage often is not immediately visible to homeowners. However, if the infestation is untreated for several years, the wood may become weak and give way under general use.
  • Termites can damage laminate floors by eating the backing off the laminate. The laminate will blister and sag. Upon investigation, you may see hollow tunnels under the buckled areas.

What does termite damage sound like?

  • Excessive squeaking can be evidence of termite damage to a floor. Termite damage weakens floors at the site of the damage (e.g. supports, subfloor and floor surfaces). Weakened floors are more sensitive to movement. When floorboards move, they may squeak or creak as boards rub against each other and against nails.
  • A hollow sound may indicate termite wood damage. When termites consume wood, they can create cavities in floors, baseboards and nearby walls. Inspectors often tap on the wood to check for a hollow sound to help determine whether or not there is a hidden termite infestation.