Taking a few minutes to make some minor, but critical, house checks every season can save you plenty!
Your home is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. That’s why keeping it in good, working condition – inside and out — is critical to ensuring your family’s quality of life and, when and if the time comes to sell, allows you to sell for potentially a better price. But the biggest reason to be proactive with home repairs by fixing the problem when it’s just starting to show, is that, if ignored, a small issue can easily morph into a huge expense in very little real time.
Just some due diligence performed on a routine basis, such as twice a year or before the change of each season, can provide you with invaluable peace of mind and help you avoid any substantial, unplanned expenses. And the older your home, the more important are these seasonal spot checks.
Here is one of several places in your home you’ll certainly want to stay on top of and a snapshot of the potential expense if you don’t:
Home Termite Damage
Termites will literally chew your home out from under you (and homeowner policies do not cover this damage).
Bugs are never welcome house guests, but termites are probably the most lethal when it comes to wreaking havoc in the home. They can silently and steadily chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper — undetected by anyone living in the home — leaving in their wake colossal, irreparable damage. Depending on the species, termites can damage a home’s structural stability in a few short years if left unchecked.
How to Check for Termite Damage
Signs of a Problem:
- Swarms of small flying bugs, or bug wings in the basement
- Hollowed out wood
- Mud tunnels about the width of a pencil leading up to your exterior walls
How to Prevent Termite Damage
Here are 10 tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to protect your home from termite damage:
- Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
- Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
- Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
- Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
When it comes to termites, there are chemicals such as Termidor® /Taurus® (fipronil), Premise® (imidacloprid), and Altriset® (chlorantraniliprole), which will kill — instead of just repel — termites tunneling into treated areas. However, if you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional immediately to determine the extent of the problem and receive a recommendation of an appropriate course of treatment.
Average Cost of Termite Damage Repairs
Cost: Treatment costs an average of $541, but damage caused by termites averages $7,229.
How to Finance Home and Remodeling Repairs
Find out your options for financing home repairs or remodel projects, on FreedomMortgage.com’s Home Remodel Loan Options page.
This is the fifth of a five-part Freedom Mortgage Blog Series titled Avoid Costly Home Repairs. Catch up with FMC’s first, second, third and fourth blog entries: Roof Maintenance, Foundation Maintenance, Water Heater Maintenance and HVAC Maintenance.