There are many things we want in our homes – Viking appliances, more closet space, double vanities in the master bathroom. But there is one thing no homeowner wants to find in and around their house. Termites. Unfortunately, your vinyl, laminate, carpet and hardwood flooring are all at-risk.
Learn what the early signs of termite damage looks like, where it will likely show first and how to determine for sure if it’s actually termites or something else.
The Early Signs of Termites
The truth is many people will not realize they have a termite infestation until it is already well underway. These insects do significant damage, but they do so below the surface at first. However, there are early warning signs that termites are settling into your floors.
Swarmers Near Light – The presence of swarmers, flying termites, is one of the first signs that people see. They tend to fly near light, including around windows. You’ll also likely notice the discarded wings where swarmers have recently congregated.
Mud Leads – On the exterior of the home you may find tunnels made of mud. These are called mud leads, also known as shelter tubes, and they are created by termites as a way to access the home when they can’t tunnel through a material. Look for these around the foundation of the home, on brickwork and on concrete posts.
Water Damage – This is not a definite sign, but water damage does make it easier for termites to chew through wood. They often seek the path of least resistance, which is usually where water damage has occurred. If you’ve seen other signs of termites, check for water damage signs like staining on walls and blistering paint. Also look to see if there are water pipes and plumbing lines that enter or pass through the flooring.
Frass – Typically flooring damage from termites happens from the bottom up, but it is still possible to see frass. This is a small mound of termite fecal matter that looks like wood shavings. Frass is commonly found around walls where exit holes have been created.
How to Tell if Your Flooring Has Termite Damage
The wood flooring itself can give away a termite infestation sooner than the other signs appear. This is often the case whether the subfloor or top surface is being attacked.
Wood that is easy to penetrate – If the surface is spongy and easy to penetrate with a sharp object that is the most evident sign of an infestation.
Hollow sound – Termites will often start below the surface, damaging wood without causing visible signs.
Raised or buckling areas in the flooring
Damage to flooring – splits, cracked paint, holes in the surface – It is important to note that termites are capable of chewing holes in carpet flooring as well.
Damage to baseboards
Smell of mildew or mold
Laminate that is bubbling up, blistering and/or discolored
Patterns from tunneling within the wood
If you suspect that your flooring has been damaged by termites call an extermination expert immediately. Often termites are in areas that are difficult to access and the problem could be more widespread than you realize.
Once the exterminator has verified that you have termites, you may need to replace your flooring. At CRT Flooring Concepts we help homeowners solve a variety of flooring problems every day. From new builds to remodels to repairs we have a wide selection of flooring products and expert flooring installers can that help you get your home back to normal in no time.