Beams Damaged by Termites

Every year termites attack thousands of homes. Since they eat wood from the inside, termites can sometimes work for a long time without being noticed. By the time they are spotted, termites can cause extensive damage.

Subterranean termites can damage large beams. Beams in basements and crawl spaces are especially vulnerable to subterranean termite attack. These are areas of homes where people do not go as often as other areas.

If the termites are able to work undisturbed for a long time, they can cause a lot of damage to the beams under the floor of the home. When these beams are damaged, they might give way under the weight of the furniture above.

Drywood termites do not live in the ground. They attack wood that is above ground level. These termites often damage the large beams that extend from the walls of Southwestern–style homes. These beams, called vigas, are often rough, unfinished logs. The termites can easily enter the vigas from the outside of the home.

When drywood termites eat, they make smooth, clean galleries in the wood. They make tiny holes that they use to dispose of their fecal pellets. The pellets fall from the termite galleries into the yard outside the house.

Drywood termite fecal pellets are very small. If they land in the grass in the yard, they will probably not be noticed. The drywood termites can live in the vigas and cause damage without being noticed –– often for many years.

Beams that are damaged by termites can be very expensive to replace. These large boards support many other structural pieces. In many cases, un–damaged pieces have to be removed so the damaged beam can be repaired or replaced. The task of replacing a damaged beam can require a lot of demolition. The repair can become very expensive by the time the project is finished.

Many Homeowners’ Policies do not protect homes against termite damage. Because of that, many homeowners call on a termite control professional for an annual termite inspection. These experts can recognize the signs of termite activity. They can identify the various types of termites from the evidence they leave behind.

If treatment is needed, these experts can prescribe the treatment that will be most effective. Many termite control treatments come with a guarantee in the event of a future termite attack.