If you're a homeowner in Singapore, there's a great chance that at some point you're going to be worried about termite damage. The most common termite infestation symptoms are fairly easy to spot, but you do need to know where and how to look.
You should be looking because the key to limiting damage is to catch an infestation early ideally before a colony has time to set up in your house. A little bit of prevention can save you hours of effort and thousands of dollars of expense, to say nothing of preserving the value of your home.
The Most Common Termite Infestation Symptoms and Signs of Termites
-The first place you need to start looking is outside your home. Termites make their way into your home by way of either wood to wood contact or soil to wood contact. Termites create airtight tunnels to and through wood and soil, so these are the home ground for them.
-So, the places to check are areas where wood is contacting your house. Most commonly, this is firewood, which is a major source of termites. You should move it back from your house regardless, but that's a good place to look for signs of termites.
-You then need to look at places where the soil is contacting the wood of your house, or is very near it. Ideally, there should be six inches between the ground and the structure of your house, but this doesn't always happen.
-Another area to take a look at is areas where you have standing water or a drainage problem. Anywhere moisture accumulates, because termites need a humid environment and will naturally seek out the area where things are wet and warm.
-In either case, what you need to be looking for is signs of termites. The most obvious one is mud tubes, which are exactly what they sound like. Termites need their tunnels, so when they go above, they construct what look like tubes made out of the mud. If you see these, you have a problem.
-Termites eat wood, so the usual place inside your home to start looking is where you can find the exposed wood of the frame of your home. Depending on where you live, you're going to be looking either in the basement or a crawlspace. In either case, you're going to require a flashlight and a flat head screwdriver.
-What you're going to be looking for is wings and fecal matter, the latter looking like dirt or a sort peppercorn looking matter. These a sure sign that termites have made it to your home. You should also keep an eye out for sawdust looking debris, which you shouldn't find unless there's an infestation. And, of course, you should be on the lookout for mud tunnels, which they build on the inside as well.
-Even if you don't find any of the obvious signs, you should check the wood. Which is where the screwdriver is going to be necessary you need to stab the wood, hard, with a screwdriver.
-What you get with healthy wood is a dull thud and a fraction of an inch of penetration. On the other hand, if the screwdriver sinks deep into the wood and makes a hollow sound, you've got problems.
You can treat termite problems, often cheaply and effectively, if you know what to look for with termite damage. The most common termite infestation symptoms are easy to spot, so you need to start looking today.
How to avoid termite infestation
Whether you are buying a home in Singapore or even selling one, you will realize that one problem you need to be particularly beware of is termites.With attacks on one in five homes in Singapore, termites are not something that you can afford to ignore.
Once termites have infested your home, it can be very distressing. It is also very expensive to have them exterminated. The best thing to do is to prevent them from moving into your home, to begin with. There are many ways to keep termites out of your home. Get busy and take steps to keep them away before they cause problems.
You must keep your eyes open for signs of termites infesting your home. It is a good idea to do a check every year or even more often. It doesn't take them too long to get in and start multiplying. Before you know it they can get in and start eating away at your house.
-The signs you are looking for will occur in places that termites love, including subterranean locations and areas that have a lot of dry wood. Look for piles of termite dirt in wooden ceilings, and make sure that you keep track of any mud tunnels that show that the little pests are digging around.
-Lumber made from trees such as juniper, cedar, or redwood is great to use in constructing your home. These woods have a beautiful grain and also smell great. Termites among other pests don't care to set up housekeeping in woods such as these. The aromatic oils in them tend to repel insects and other pests as well. Also, try to keep your home as dry and moisture free as possible. The outside of your home is important too as well as the basement. Dry up any moisture you can find in these areas.
-Not only does your home need to be unattractive to termites, but your yard and surrounding area also need to be considered as well. Keep plants, flowers or any vegetation away from the house to prevent mold and dampness from forming on the exterior walls.
-Make sure there are no leaks spraying on or under your house. Position sprinklers so they do not splash the house when operating. Ensure that all cracks on the outside are filled in with proper sealant. Always check the bottoms of the walls which are likely to get damp, take steps to seal them and keep them dry.
Before you build, buy or sell a house in Singapore, consider the issue of termites. Take steps to keep them away or you will find yourself spending a lot of money later to get rid of them. Save yourself the trouble and expense by keeping them away. If you do happen to find termites on your property, perhaps it's time to talk to a professional.