Choosing a strategy to control termite damage may seem demanding to most homeowners. However, with a basic understanding of termite repair methods, a proper pest control technique can be chosen. Termites commonly attack all wooden structures, feeding intensively upon cellulose. Essentially, all household items containing plant fabrics are vulnerable to termite attacks.
Termites leave behind an easy-to-decode track that tells a lot about the level of infestation. Called a termite trail, it typically consists of termite feces, eggs, dead termites, and a powder-like (digested wood) residue. Often termite colonies invade deep into surrounding, non-feeding sites, like drywalls. Untreated termite infestations can become a threat to the structural stability of a house.
There are many ways to approach repairing household termite damage. Each method has slight differences in the overall technique and cost considerations. Usually, a repair method is chosen after inspecting the severity of the infestation. Nearly every kind of termite repair technique can be broadly classified across three basic types:
Type 1 – DIY Repairs for Non-invasive Termite Damage
The damage is considered minimal if the infestation seems to be only along the surface. This means that the termites haven’t invaded the core of the infested site. These damages are easy to manage. This type of initial termite damage is most common among untreated wooden structures, but the termite trails are not very obvious in such cases. Indications include the appearance of an occasional termite trail, particularly in wet weather. Such repairs can be done without the need to hire professional exterminators.
The repair strategy is essentially aimed at hardening the wood, thereby lending it more termite resistance. Infested wooden structures can be treated with wood treatment products, called wood hardeners. These are special adhesives that immediately fill in any fissures created by termites. Wood-hardening compounds are sold with varying strengths. They should be chosen according to the type of wood being treated and the extent of the problem. You can also use wood sealers. Sealers cut off oxygen supply to the termite colonies, thereby killing them within a few days.
Type 2 – DIY Repairs for Slightly Invasive Termite Damage
These repairs are recommended when some degree of penetration is suspected. The termite trails, particularly the feces droplets, become more regular. The termite trail may also develop irregular patterns, often looking like a grid made of powdery lines. This, too, is not a serious form of infestation. However, if left untreated, it can become deep-rooted and spread onto non-woody structures. This form of termite repair can be done with household tools and commonly retailed supplies.
The upper, infested wooden surface needs to be scraped away with a chisel. The scraped site is sanded to create a smooth surface. This is followed by strengthening the site with the wood fillers. Often the top surface is polished again to ensure that the fillers remain secured in their position. Wood fillers and finishing products are packaged with easy-to-follow instructions that make the entire process undemanding. Special care needs to be taken during the wet months, as termite infestation might resurface among previous infestation sites. Ideally, the repaired sites should be regularly wiped with a dry cloth to ensure that no moisture seepage occurs.
Type 3 – Professional Repairs for Invasive, Structural Termite Damage
These repairs are needed for the most destructive form of termite infestation. When the termite infestation becomes deep-seated, it shows clear signs of extensive damage. The wood appears darker and develops a typical, hollow sound. The termite trails are clearly visible on the neighboring, non-wooden items too. Due to intensive feeding by the termites, small holes can be clearly seen.
Such repairs are usually beyond the scope of household repair techniques. Professional help is recommended. The usual strategy includes removing the highly damaged parts. This involves disengaging any wiring or plumbing connections enclosed within the infested sites. The internal wood is also scraped. High-strength wood sealers are infused deep into the remaining and surrounding structures with special injectors. Surrounding structures need to be re-finished to remove all traces of infestation. Professional termite contractors are best suited to handle such complex, termite repairs.
In the event that your prevention did not work. You now know the basics of termite damage repair.