How Bad Can Things Get With Termites?
A termite infestation is, under ordinary circumstances, something that is treated very seriously, and with a rapid response. This is because people with a proper understanding of the power of termites know that given a chance, without treatment for a severe termite infestation, a home can be in serious trouble.
But just how much trouble? After all, termites aren’t very big, and even if a termite does eat wood, it’s such a tiny thing. Can a group of termites inflict that much damage on a home if you forgo treatment for a severe termite infestation?
The critical risk that termites present is that despite their small size and relatively tiny stomachs, they are never alone. A typical termite colony averages about one million insects, and when you’ve got a million—or more—of anything eating at wood that can, given enough time, inflict serious damage on anything.
The big issue with termites is that sometimes you don’t even know you’re in the home, which can give them an advantage of weeks, months, or even years. Termites don’t just live in wood; they eat it. And that means that they don’t have any reason to go out foraging for food when their home is a food source.
Locations Count Too
Another factor that determines the amount of damage that termites can do to a home is the wooden structures they choose to live in. If your home has wooden siding for the exterior, for example, then the damage might look very bad, but be superficial, affecting the appearance of your home.
On the other hand, if the termites get into something structural, such as a load-bearing beam or joist, if they eat enough of this away, there may come at time when you are legally required to move out because your home is no longer considered safe. Termites getting into structural components can weaken those components. Given enough time, those structures may eventually fail, and at that point, a portion of a home can collapse.
The Worst-Case Scenario
While it’s not likely to happen in a home that is still inhabited, with residents that are owners who care for the welfare of the building, things can get very bad with a termite infestation. It’s all just a matter of time and neglect. Termites don’t just eat wood; they feed on anything that contains cellulose, which can include insulation and other forms of siding.
If you give termites free rein of a home, it’s possible with enough years of negligence, for a home to be damaged beyond repair. From a cost perspective, it would make more sense to tear down what’s left and start building a new home with new foundations, joists, and beams.
This is why if you suspect you have termites, you should always call in the experts to get the problem assessed and dealt with as quickly as possible a small termite problem is less expensive and easier to deal with than the treatment for a severe termite infestation.