I would like to take the opportunity to write about termites. Termites are very dangerous because of the damage that they cause to man made structures. There is a different test one must take before they can become certified to treat for termites in the State of Nevada. I am happy to say that I passed with flying colors. Although called the “termite” test the curriculum or certification materials covered other Wood Destroying Pests. I was a little surprised to be studying moss, fungi, rot, bees, beetles and structural aspects of homes which included; how well water flowed away from the foundation. It is interesting to see how all of these things come together when you finally get the big picture of what the inspection is all about, and how important a proactive approach can be when trying to control termites.
I will include in another post specifically what your neighborhood termite inspector will be looking for. For now, I would like to lay the framework for the “big picture” approach to a termite inspection; generally needed for various (loan) real estate transactions.
So why did I learn about moss, fungi, various other “rot,” bees, beetles, and how well the water flows away from the foundation?
Although termites are the number one wood destroying pests, there are others. There exists various types of bees and borers (beetles) that destroy wood and it is important to know about these insects to prevent the incorrect diagnosis of termites. The cost to treat for termites can be expensive, so it is very important that your diagnosis be solid.
When it comes to termites you want to make it as hard as possible for them to find a suitable place to live. This is where the various types of “rot” and how water flows away from the foundation comes in. Subterranean termites need a lot of moisture and prefer softer wood. Areas around your foundation where water builds up is a disaster waiting to happen. Over time, wood components of the foundation will eventually become water logged; ultimately developing the wood of choice for the nearest subterranean colony. Looking for moss, and fungus can easily identify places where this has taken place. Ever look at places where water damage has occurred? Moss, Fungus, or various stages of rot in/on walls is an immediate red flag for the inspector because it could be an entry point/harborage for termites.
The big picture is more than that of termites. One should learn of other wood destroying pests native to their habitat, and understand conditions that exist around the home that may be conducive to an infestation of various wood destroying pests; let alone the infamous termite.
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