Wood is a beautiful building material, there is no question about that. The variety available makes for exciting aesthetic options. But the beauty of wood can easily be marred by the presence of termites. These insects feast on wood, leading to the material being weakened. Their feasting habits might even lead to the collapse of any part of the roof that makes use of lumber. This is a situation you clearly want to avoid, so the question is how can you spot a termite infestation and what can you do about it?
Signs of Termite Infestation
The best way from preventing a worst case scenario from happening is to know the initial signs so the problem can be addressed as soon as possible. Spring is the time you should be paying the most attention when it comes to termites. Keep in mind that they can’t stay away from wood and can cause significant property damage when left unchecked.
So how to you check for possible termite infestations?
- Look for the obvious signs. Termites are flying insects and as such, seeing wings or dead insects themselves in areas where wood is used around your home might point to them having made a home in your own home. Other visible signs include sags, in the roof line or the ceilings. Shingles or roof tiles that have come loose can also mean an infestation.
- Check for the presence of frass. Frass is this powdery substance produced by boring insects like termites. Basically, it’s their feces and it looks like dust. If you see such a substance, termites have most definitely feasted on wood in your home.
- Inspect for signs of chewing activity. Termites will eat through wood and the damage is visible if it’s quite significant. Check framing members to see signs of such activity. You can also check for the presence of mud tubes, usually found on the exterior wall surface.
- Pay attention to sound and smell. An infestation is present when you hear a hollow sound when tapping on a framing member. Another sign of termite presence is the smell of mold or mildew in places where wood is present in the home.
Why Do Termites Love Wood?
It’s quite simple: it is a source of food. They love cellulose and wood is pretty rich in that substance. Two kinds of termites are responsible for roof damage: drywood termites and subterranean termites.
Drywood termites like to chew on wood used for constructing roofs. On the other hand, subterranean termites prefer munching on softer fibers.
Can a Termite-Infested Roof Be Repaired?
Once you’ve noticed the signs, it’s best to call in a termite control specialist to get the situation under control. After making sure that everything is fine, it’s time to call in a roofing company that specializes in construction and roof wood termite repairs to restore your roof’s structural integrity.
There are different ways to approach the problem. One is to replace the damaged wood in its entirely. Another is to just work on the sections that have been damaged. Since termites can also cause damage to sheathing that too needs to be replaced. Plus, other affected areas need to be replaced as well. Doing so ensures that you have properly functioning roof that won’t collapse due to damage.