Subterranean Termites won’t be out in the open crawling around like a roach or an ant. They live in a colony nest sometimes 8-13 feet below the surface of the ground. So we’ll be looking for signs or evidence of a termite infestation. Here’s how to do an outdoor termite Inspection.
5 Termite Inspection Hotspots
Ready let’s do an Outside Inspection?
Check the base of your foundation wall, at ground level, all the way around the structure, take your time to really look. Look for mud tubes or mud tunnels between construction joints or crawling up foundation walls. Areas to focus on are where porches meet the foundation walls, around the base of chimneys and planters that are against the foundation wall. Do you have wood touching your home and the ground? (wood steps, crawl door frame, porch posts, wooden decks, stiff knee supports). Probe the wood with a large flat-head screwdriver to see if there are hollow spaces. If you find a soft spot that may be hollow, try to open a small area to view inside.
Key points to consider during your termite inspection
- Wood-to-ground contact – Wood braces, porch or deck steps should be raised off the ground at least 6 inches in most states. Separate the wood on the ground with a 6-inch high concrete footer or concrete pad. Since wood in contact with the soil should be insulated at 6 inches from the soil. After the pad is poured and the wood member cut or adjusted for the new height you can effectively treat around the new footing. (Make sure you remove the form boards as soon as the footing has set.)
- Wood to ground contact is always a good place to look for termites. While you are out and about, note if fences are physically touching your structure. Termites can get into your fence and come over to your home, effectively by-passing liquid or bait termite treatments. It’s common for inspectors to report all Fences that are within an inch of touching your home. There is a checkbox for this in just about every state’s Real estate WDO Report so this is serious business. and a good rule of thumb to follow. If you fence is attached, nailed or screwed to you home, put in a new post and attach the fence to that. Leave about 1 1/2 inches of space between the fence and your home.
- If firewood is closer that 12 inches I would suggest you move it, I have my firewood a good 30 feet from my house.
- Wood mulch is good termite food. Do you have wood mulch in your flower beds next to your foundation wall? If so I would replace the mulch with another attractive bedding like pine straw, rocks or some ground cover plant.
- Damp places around your foundation where water sometimes stands is a good place to look for signs of termites. Gutter drains should carry rain water away from your structure’s foundation. A 3 or 4 ft. extension would work.
Termite Inspection Take A Ways::
Wood to ground contact can provide easy access for sub-termites into my home.
High levels of moisture, due to plumbing, gutter and roof leaks, invite termites and need to be fixed.