How To Prevent Termites

Termites have been around for more than 250-million years. These pesky insects play an important role in breaking down dead wood in the forests and speeding the conversion of nutrients into the soil.
But, when they attack our homes, it's easy to forget the beneficial role they play in nature. In fact, termites cause more damage in homes every year than does fire. The voracious Formosan termite from Asia is rapidly invading the South East and may become the biggest termite threat facing homeowners yet.
Although termites are more common in older homes, termite control can even be a problem in brand new homes. When builders clear trees from a site to build new homes, the termites can migrate to the wood stored on the site. A concrete slab or brick construction is no guarantee that termites will not eventually invade a home because termites can work their way up through the ground into minuscule cracks in the concrete. And, if you doubt their pervasiveness, consider that Americans spend more than $1 billion every year on termite control, repair and treatment.
So, what are the best ways for a homeowner to control termites? There are two types of termites, subterranean and drywood. Prevention is the best way to deal with these pests and here are some termite control tips from a leading termite inspection company.
  1. Termites are attracted to moisture. So, to control termites it's important to eliminate any standing water in or around your home.
  2. Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris so that rain water flows freely away from the house. Use splash blocks to help channel water away from your foundation.
  3. Make sure the crawl space, basement and attic is properly ventilated and dry. Put a plastic moisture barrier on the ground in the crawl space. Repair any leaky plumbing or drainage problems immediately to prevent the buildup of moisture so that termite don't get started.
  4. Repair and fill all cracks in the slab and foundation to prevent the migration of termites into the house. Good termite control means you will never have to treat for termites.
  5. Remove any wood that is in contact with the soil. Eliminate wood debris around or beneath your home including scrap lumber, firewood or tree stumps. Firewood and other lumber should be stacked off the ground and away from the house.
  6. Avoid wood/soil contact under and around your home. Keep soil and mulch levels at least 6 inches lower than the stucco or framing of the house. Support wooden steps or fence posts on a concrete base - not on the ground. Support posts for decks and patio covers should be on concrete pier blocks.
  7. Vegetation should never touch your home house. Avoid planting trees too close to the house. Cut back shrubs, vines and bushes away from the foundation to help control termites.
  8. A good coat of paint acts as a barrier for drywood termites. So, for good termite control keep the exterior of your home well painted and in good repair. Seal all cracks and screen all vents to prevent them from flying into the attic.
  9. It's a good idea to have your home inspected once a year. Early diagnosis will control termites and prevent expensive treatment measures such as fumigation.
Humidifier Maintenance
Tips for maintaining your whole house humidifier.
Silicon Caulk Application
How to replace silicone caulk.
Water Heater Maintenance
Water Heater Maintenance
Common Defects
With common issues it's typically a matter of a relatively simple fix to correct the issue, however left alone some of these issues could result in easily avoidable larger issues down the road. While conducting my home inspection I feel it's my job...
Downspout Extensions
This should have been added to my Common Issues Blog being one of the most common installations. While installing downspouts so they terminate above the roof surface isn't a "defect" I always recommend routing downspouts to the gutter...
Dryer Vent Safety
Clothes dryers evaporate the water from wet clothing by blowing hot air past them while they tumble inside a spinning drum. Heat is provided by an electrical heating element or gas burner. Some heavy garment loads can contain more than a gallon of water which, during the drying process, will become airborne water vapor and leave the dryer and home through an exhaust duct (more commonly known as a dryer vent).
Electrical Safety
Electricity is an essential part of our lives. However, it has the potential to cause great harm. Electrical systems will function almost indefinitely, if properly installed and not overloaded or physically abused. Electrical fires in our homes claim the lives of 485 Americans each year and injure 2,305 more. Some of these fires are caused by electrical system failures and appliance defects, but many more are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords. Some safety tips to remember:
Environmental Concerns (Asbestos)
The Ancient Greeks named the mineral asbestos, meaning inextinguishable. Apparently even the Greeks were aware of the harmful properties in asbestos and the effects of breathing asbestos dust. The Greek geographer Strabo and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder mentioned a sickness common with workers who created cloths using asbestos fibers.
Galvanized Steel Plumbing
Where water pressure is poor in the distribution system, the most common cause is corroded galvanized steel. Galvanized plumbing can close down so that the inner diameter is reduced to 1/8” or less. The only solution is to replace the plumbing lines, typically with copper.
High Efficiency Lights
Environmentally friendly lights/Mercury Vapor.
Ice Damming - Roof Leaks
A typical ice-damming event occurs when the heat escapes from the living quarters into the attic and eventually warms the roof deck. The combination of the sun and the interior heat combine to accelerate and exacerbate this process.
Inspect Before Listing
Having a pre-list inspection will give the seller the opportunity to repair or upgrade those items that will no doubt be pointed out during the purchase inspection. Being able to limit the number of items needing attention will increase the marketability of the property being sold.
Radon, because it is a gas, is able to move though spaces in the soil or fill material around a home's foundation. Michigan homes tend to operate under a negative pressure - this is especially true in the lowest portions of the home and during the heating season.
Sump Pump Operation
Sump pumps are self-activating electrical pumps that protect homes from moisture intrusion and are very common in Southeastern Michigan homes. They are usually installed below basement or crawlspace floors to remove rising groundwater and surface runoff before it has a chance to seep into the home.
TPR Vales and Discharge Piping
TPR (temperature pressure relief) valves are safety devices installed on water heating appliances such as boilers and domestic water supply heaters. TPRs are designed to automatically release water in the event that pressure or temperature in the water tank exceeds safe levels.
Aging in Place
"Aging in place" is the phenomenon describing senior citizens' ability to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. Those who age in place will not have to move from their present residence in order to secure necessary support services in response to their changing needs.
Ash Tree Enemy
Damage to Ash trees throughout the United States.
Bats in the attic
Bat guano can build up in attics and eaves that have been used by bats, and even if the human occupants of the building are not aware of the dung, they may be harmed by it.
* Indicates required questions
Name *
First Last
Email *
Phone # *
Property Address (Include City) *
How can we help you?
Enter code in image: