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How Termites Affect Wood Flooring

There are a significant amount of calls to give a proposal on water damage repair that actually is damage due to termite infestation. How do I know if I have termites?

Here are a few things to look for:

  • Termites usually enter the home through cracks or openings in exterior walls.
  • Termites build earth-colored tubes from the ground to the wood they are feeding on. Bringing in moist wood with them as they “feast” on your wood flooring. This makes the appearance of the tube, which has the appearance of bubbling or swelling of the wood. This occurs in a straight line on the floor. It can occur in more than one place on the floor.
  • Wood may appear unaffected, however, when checked or pressed on, the wood may break loose or give way or the wood may have the appearance that it is decaying. There may be an actual hole in the floor.

First thing- don’t panic!!

The termites need to be treated prior to removal/replacement of the damaged boards. Ask your flooring specialists for recommendation to reputable termite companies. Most companies will come straight through the damaged boards to treat. If not, your flooring specialist can remove the boards prior to their treatment. A waiting period of at least 24 hours needs to occur prior to the re-installation of new boards.

Termites will not eat any of the plywood subfloors due to the glue that is utilized in that product. Termites are inherent to a particular area. Installation of a hardwood floor does not send up a red flag to the termite population and they all march to your house for a feast!! If your area is prone to termites, they will be present with or without a hardwood floor. Regular maintenance of termite prone areas will help keep them at bay, but re-occurrence is always a possibility. Termite treatment to ground prior to new construction does not mean infestation will occur.

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