Water damage in your home can cause mold, cracked foundation, and decaying beams as well as attracting several pests like carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and termites. Subterranean termites alone cause over $5 billion dollars annually in the United States. One of the most attractive settings for termites is water damaged wood, making what seems like a tiny water leak in your home the potential catalyst for a costly invasion of termites - and most homeowner insurance policies won't even cover the damage done by these voracious creatures.
A recent article by Realtor.com shed some helpful light on how to identify water damage before it becomes a massive problem. Here are subtle things to look for when inspecting your home for water damage:
Movement in your toilet, even as slight as a few millimeters, can indicate a slow leak around the base of your toilet. This is a very common leak that often goes undetected until there is major damage to the subflooring offering a huge attraction for termite to move in.
Inspect the tile in and around your shower. If you notice thin black lines where the grout should be then you are probably missing the grout. Make a hard tap on the tile and see if you hear a high-pitched sound - if not then the water has most likely leaked in behind the tile causing water damage in your walls. Again, another attraction for pests.
Check the gap between the base of interior doors and carpeted floors. There should be at least 1/2-inch gap to allow for air circulation. If there isn't the room can become too moist allowing your walls to 'rot' from the inside out making a cozy nest for termites.
Wood around the base of your home that touches the ground is a potential risk for water damage. Dirt holds moisture and in turn shares it with any wood that touches it. You guessed it - another attractive situation for termites in Pittsburgh that live in underground colonies.
Make sure that plants, shrubs, trees, and mulch are placed back at least 15 inches from your foundation. Don't allow overhanging branches near roofs and eaves. This is another infamous culprit for water damage and insect invasion.
Even with all these tips in mind, you can still run into water damage in your home and the ultimate invasion of hungry little termites who can't wait to monopolize on your leaks. Protect your home and costly investment today by repairing leaks and damaged wood before they attract unwanted insects. You may also want to give call to the termite control professionals at Witt Pest Management for help if it's too late and you've found evidence of termites and/or termite damage. We are Pittsburgh's oldest and most trusted pest control company and use the latest, most environmentally safe products to treat termites and other pests that invade homes in our region. Don't let the water damaged wood in your home become the latest nesting ground for termites or other wood destroying pests. Call on Witt to come to the rescue.