Did you know your largest investment isn’t protected from termite damage? That’s right, your home is probably one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make and a single termite infestation can leave you paying thousands in repairs. Why? Because, unfortunately, that homeowner’s insurance you pay for doesn’t cover damage from termites.
But that’s where Ehrlich comes in. As your pest control experts, we want to educate you on the facts about termites and homeowners insurance, as well as the damage termites can cause, the signs of termites in your home, what you can do to prevent them, and how we can help!
Want to keep your home protected from termites? Schedule a termite inspection today!
Why isn’t termite damage covered on homeowners insurance?
Many homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite damage. That’s because most termite infestations can be prevented through regular maintenance — and regular maintenance is the homeowner’s responsibility. With Ehrlich, you can set up annual termite inspections to minimize the risk of an attack.
Termites can be introduced to an environment at any time. For example, if your neighbors are having a problem, you could have one too. That’s why annual inspections are essential for the early detection of termite activity on your property. During the inspection, your specialist will check for signs of termites and termite damage, and will also assess what conditions could be making your property more susceptible to termites. At the end of the inspection, your specialist will provide you with a report of what they found as well as recommendations for treatment, repair, and/or preventative services to lower your chances of an infestation going forward.
The only instance in which termites could be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy is if the termites chewed through the electrical wiring in your home and caused a fire. In this case, your insurance company may cover some of these damages as a house fire is typically covered in most policies.
What kind of damage can termites cause to my home?
According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cost property owners more than $5 billion in damage each year. The average homeowner will pay anywhere from $3,000 and above to repair a single instance of damage caused by termites. Termites can wreak havoc on the structure of your house, chewing on the wood both on the outside and inside of your home. Serious infestations can also cause damage to the internal structure of your home creating buckling walls and sagging floors.
Termites have earned the nickname ‘silent destroyers’ because of their ability to go undetected for years. Though wood is their preferred food, termites will eat any material composed of cellulose. They can destroy cloth, carpets, paper, books, and even insulation. If your home is built primarily from brick or stone, you unfortunately still have a chance of ending up with an infestation. With a brick or stone home, your structural supports and other building components are constructed of wood and other materials containing cellulose — all of which are on a termite’s menu.
Signs of termite damage
You may not notice serious damage right away, but termites leave behind signs to alert you that they are there. Some of these signs are:
- Swarmer termites – Flying termites can mean serious trouble.
- Discarded termite wings – These may be the first and only visible sign of a termite problem.
- Blistering wood – This wood may sound hollow or rotted when it is stepped or knocked on.
- Frass – Termite droppings that are often mistaken for sawdust.
- Mud tubes – These will be attached to structures, typically near your property’s foundation.
Termites cannot effectively be treated by homeowners alone. If you find signs of termite damage or suspect that you have an infestation, contact us for a free termite inspection. One of our specialists will be able to determine the extent of the damage, the type of termite infesting your home, and will provide you with the best treatment plan.
What can I do to prevent termites?
Many types of termites are attracted to warm, moist areas that have plenty of wood for them to feast on. As a homeowner, these are some of the things you can do to make your house less appetizing to termites:
- Store wood piles at least 25 feet away from your home.
- Keep mulch pulled back away from the foundation of your home.
- Repair all leaks and moisture issues right away.
- Avoid moisture accumulation by diverting water away from your home’s foundation.
- Watch for and correct condensation issues around HVAC and air conditioning units.
- Use treated wood for building decks, gazebos, sheds, etc.
- Remove excess wood from the yard, including construction materials, fallen trees, and stumps/roots.
- Have an annual termite inspection.
As with every type of pest, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your home from a termite infestation. However, the main way to prevent termite damage is to set up annual termite inspections and to contact us as soon as possible at any sign of an infestation.
Ehrlich’s got you covered!
One of our favorite things to do is to look for termites. We’d love to inspect your home annually to protect your wallet from spending the big bucks. If you think you have termite damage, or you just want to be cautious, then contact us today to set up annual termite inspections for your home. We’ll control the termites first so your wallet doesn’t have to.