There are two words no homeowner wants to hear: termite damage. Discover why having termites can be so costly; make sure your new home is protected and that you’re doing everything you can to prevent an infestation in the future.
For many people, purchasing a home is their largest investment. Termites can literally eat their way through that investment, causing thousands of dollars in damage per home. There are several different types of termites and they can attack your home from different entry points. They feed on wood, but they can also consume plant-based materials like fabric and wallpaper.
What makes termites especially unnerving is that they can go undetected for years. By the time they’re found, the damage may already be done.
According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause more than $5 billion in documented damage each year. Some damage may go unreported, however, because homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover termite damage. Those without a warranty through an exterminating company will be paying out of pocket and not through a documented claims process.
Pre-construction Termite Treatment
To protect your new home, a preconstruction termite treatment is applied by an exterminating company. This pretreatment establishes a warranty with that exterminating company. After closing, the homeowner keeps up the warranty with the exterminating company and they work together to keep termites out of their new home.
A termite warranty is an agreement between an exterminating company and a homeowner. Typically, the homeowner pays for a yearly inspection and the exterminating company provides treatment and control if termites are discovered. The warranty may also provide protection if termites are found. This would include either repair of damages or a retreatment covered by the warranty. For a termite warranty to remain valid, the homeowner must keep up with yearly inspections.
In addition to a termite warranty, there are steps you can take to prevent an infestation in your home:
- Reduce food sources
- Store firewood away from the house
- Keep landscaping mulch at least six inches away from your foundation OR replace mulch with a cellulose-free option
- Remove access
- Seal off all entry points including cracks, crevices, and gaps around pipes with caulk, foam, or weather stripping
- Keep hedges and trees trimmed at least 18 inches away from the home
- Reduce Excess Moisture
- Reduce moisture in and around your home
- Repair leaky faucets, pipes, and AC units
- Ensure downspouts and gutters are working properly
- Know the Signs
- Inspect lumber before your DIY project
- Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes
- Keep your eye out for swarmers – these termites have wings and they look like flying ants
With a good termite warranty in place and a little preventative care, your investment in your new home will be protected and enjoyed for years to come.