If you have termites, the number one priority is to get rid of them. Until you get rid of them, any repairs you manage are just going to be vulnerable to further termite damage. So, extermination should be your top priority. At Flick, we can help you get rid of termites that you have and set up a prevention program that will keep termites from coming back.
Unfortunately, we do not help with repairing termite damage. However, after years of helping customers deal with termites and their aftermath, we have put together some information that can help you begin to recover from termite damage.
Look for Damage
Once your pest control company has given you the all-clear that the termites are gone, you need to look for all damage. Your pest control company should have given you an idea of how extensive your termite infestation was. They should also have indicated where they found termites in your building. That gives you a good starting point of where to look for the damage.
DIY or Professional Help
Be honest with yourself about whether you have the skills to identify and assess termite damage. Your pest control company can point out areas of damage. However, a pest control company is not the same as a structural engineer or contractor. We cannot tell you whether the damage requires repair or replacement. So, even if you are handy and can-do repairs yourself, you may want to have a professional come in and assess the damage. Damage to wood can create structural problems that can make your home unsafe, so you want to make sure that damage is thoroughly assessed.
If you are looking for damage yourself, you should be aware of signs of major damage. First, wood may have small holes in it from termites. The more holes you see, the more damaged the wood probably is. Sometimes wood may appear darker than surrounding wood. You can also knock on the wood; a hollow sound can indicate interior damage.
The easiest way to fix termite damage is to replace the wood. Removing damaged pieces of timber and replacing them with undamaged wood is the best fix. However, that may not always be possible. You may be able to do surface repairs. You can scrape away damaged areas, fill the wood, and seal or paint the wood. Special wood-hardening sealers can help strengthen wood that has been damaged. If you are using these fillers, even in hidden spaces, you want to follow all the steps, including sanding it down after you install it. The sanding is not just cosmetic; it helps ensure the filler is in the right place.
If you cannot remove a piece of wood, you can also add additional wood to the area to provide support. However, if you do that, keep in mind that you need to attach new wood to other undamaged pieces of wood. Attaching it to the damaged wood will not restore structural integrity.
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