Termites live in large colonies, there can be between 60,000 and 1 million termites in one colony! At the lower end of this scale, the colony can consume a foot of a 2×4 beam in roughly five months.
That may not sound significant, but imagine any piece of wood in your property missing a piece a foot-long. It’s going to cause structural issues.
Of course, this is the lower end of the scale, the bigger the colony the more wood they can consume, and the greater the level of damage.
Don’t forget, termites eat wood, which means as long as they are alive they won’t stop eating. If you think you have a termite issue you need to find out more about the pest control experts in your area and get them dealt with.
Before Assessing & Repairing Damage
Before you can start to deal with the damage you need to ensure all the termites have been eradicated. It’s essential to click here and get in contact with a local professional who can ensure all the termites are eliminated.
Only when they are all gone can you start focusing on repairing the damage. If you do this before they are eliminated you’re simply giving them more wood to eat.
Assessing The Issue
You’re going to need to look at the wood where the termites have been. You’ll find plenty of small holes where they have eaten their way through it and perhaps traces of sawdust at the base of the wood.
The first step is to look at how many holes there are, the greater the number the bigger the issue, and the worst the damage is likely to be. You can also try to push a screwdriver into the wood. If not slides straight in the bad section will need to be replaced. If you can’t get it in then you can treat and repair the area.
When the professionals kill the termites they will have used insecticides. These may have soaked into the wood but they’ll lose their potency over time. If you’re keeping the wood you’ll want to coat it in a stain to help prevent the termites from returning.
However, before you do this, remove the damaged area with your chisel. This is the area where you can easily sink a screwdriver in. Go a little past on both sides to ensure you have the entire infection.
If the damage is minimal you can use a wood filler to replace the chiseled-out wood. With a little sanding and varnish, you’ll never notice the difference. But, if the damage is greater then you’ll want to cut the section of wood out and replace it.
If you’re dealing with structural wood make sure you support it first. Cut a new piece of wood to replace the extracted piece and then slot it into position. To finish, add a baton on each side, securing the new wood to the original.
You can simply batten each side but this is less aesthetically pleasing, which may be an issue.