The main food source for termites is an organic material known as cellulose, which is mainly found in wood and wood derived materials such as paper. This means that termites can infest pretty much every wooden structure or object in the home, including furniture, window trims and ceilings. In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about termite-infested ceilings.
Species involved in the infestation
When it comes to ceiling infestations, two species are likely to be the culprits: drywood and subterranean termites. It’s easier for drywood termites to infest the ceiling, because they do not need to build their colonies in wood that is connected to the ground. A female swarmer can just burrow into the piece of wood and start the colony. Subterranean termites on the other hand will build their colonies underground, and then progressively expand through the wood of the home, potentially reaching the ceiling.
Detecting the infestation
Unfortunately, termite damage only becomes visible when it is extensive, so by the time that you notice cracking or sagging in the ceiling, the termites have been eating away at it for months or even years, and the only option is to completely replace the damaged wood. However, there are signs of termite presence even early on during an infestation. These signs generally include termite droppings appearing around the home, as they are evacuated from the colony from above. You may also find piles of wings or mud tubes in the home, which would signal that you need to schedule a termite inspection as soon as possible.
How to prevent ceiling damage
Termites will target any building, whether it’s new or old, and most of the wood that can be found in the home is good for termites. On top of that, you cannot really prevent termites from entering the home or infesting the wood inside. Your best bet to prevent extensive termite damage, whether it’s in the ceiling or somewhere else in the home is to have regular termite inspections performed by a pro. These inspections are usually performed on an annual basis, and they greatly reduce the damage that an infestation causes, even if it does happen. You can also protect your home against subterranean termites with a chemical barrier that is installed in the ground surrounding the building, but drywood termite infestations cannot really be prevented. If you would like to know more about termite infestations and how you can prevent them from damaging your home, contact us today.