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If you love your home in Maine, you no doubt want to protect it in any and all ways you can. One of the most important steps you can take to protect your home is identifying and preventing termite damage. There are many signs of termite damage and a few steps you can take if you see signs. 

Termites are one of the worst problems a house can have because they greatly affect the structural integrity of your home and can lead to further damage if not taken care of with great haste. Here’s a guide to knowing if you have termites and what you can do to prevent further damage.

Termite Damage Signs

If you think you may have termites, there are a few things you can do to confirm your suspicions. First, you can look around your highly wooded areas for damage to your wood. Wood damage can look like deeply ingrained scuff marks or a hollowed-out area/areas of the wood. 

There will also be maze-like patterns on your wood if termites are currently digging into it, as well as piles of insect wings somewhere in the area. These wings will be quite small but stacked on top of each other. Finally, there may be burrows surrounding your home’s foundation. If you see any of these, it may be a clear-cut sign of termite damage.

Walls and Floors

While the above points will let you know if you have damage in a very generalized way, there are also more specific signs that you’ll be able to see. For example, in your walls there will be several signs of a termite infestation. If the paint on your walls is peeling in a way, or if the walls are drooping or discolored, you’re most likely looking at termite damage. 

There can also be small pinholes in drywall which termites will make periodically. Signs in floors exist too, such as a buckling floor or loosening floor tiles. If you see any of these signs, it’s a good indication that you have a termite problem on your hands.

Effects of Termites

It’s critically important to know that termites are not to be underestimated or ignored because they can cause a bevy of damage within your house. The structural integrity of your home can be compromised, sometimes going a full three years before you see any true signs of damage. Housing material is also quite brittle and can break and crack easily when exposed to elements, such as rain or snow. 

The load-bearing capabilities of your home are severely damaged when exposed to termites for even a few months at a time. In addition, you may experience electrical failure because of damage to the wires within your walls, as well as water damage and excessively destroyed wood. Because of all of these negative consequences, it’s best to prevent termite damage as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Termite Damage

There are multiple ways to ensure that your house is protected against termites, both simple and more complex. Choosing to implement any of the below solutions will help your house be protected and more carefully insured against any damage. 

Many of these solutions require routine checks and constant vigilance, as termites can spring up at a moment’s notice. Staying aware and on top of your strategies is the best way to ensure your house is protected against any termite damage, both for the short and long term.

Dry Up Your Home

Many homes have sources of moisture and humidity, most often found in the bathroom and kitchen areas. If you make sure to keep these areas completely dry and ensure there’s no loose or excess water, you’ll be protecting your house against termites. 

Make sure to also check air conditioners and heat pumps, as these appliances can often attract termites as well. Clearing your home of any moisture will keep the termites at bay and keep them from sniffing out your home.

Make Regular Inspections

While you can be on constant lookout for damage to your walls and floors, other great places to check are your house’s foundation and siding. 

These two areas are often the most vulnerable to damage and are where termites most regularly congregate. A tell-tale sign of damage to either of these areas will be cracked within them. Other signs of damage include excessive weathering and excess brittleness.

Keep Firewood Away from the House

Many homeowners make the mistake of storing their firewood within their home or garage. This is a mistake because termites are attracted to firewood and will take it as a que to move in. 

If you must keep firewood around your house, you should keep it in a dried and closed-off container or structure which is at least several feet off from the main unit. Keeping your firewood contained like this will ward off termites and discourage them from finding your home, much like keeping your home dry.

Trim Surrounding Plants and Cardboard Use

You should ensure that your shrubs and bushes aren’t in direct contact with your home. Trim these items and keep them separated from the house so termites never make the leap over.

In addition, you should stop using cardboard and paper for storage as much as possible, as termites feast on these materials. Use plastic to store your goods and trinkets so termites won’t be invited into your home.

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