INSPECTING YOUR HOME FOR TERMITES -
BASEMENTS & CRAWLSPACES

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Termites typically enter homes on/through the foundation. A crawlspace with adequate clearance (18 inches or more) is one of the few areas of the home that can be inspected easily for early signs of termite activity. Here are some suggestions on what to look for in your crawlspace:
 
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Move insulation in order to check the foundation wall.

Check for mud tubes on structural wood. If you find tubes, break them open to see if termites are active. Scrape away old tubes so that you can check later for new activity at some later date.
Tube
Check structural wood on the foundation for signs of decay or termite activity. Wood located opposite earth-filled porches is often vulnerable to moisture problems, which can lead to attack by wood-decaying fungi, termites and carpenter ants. Band
Probe or "sound" wood by taping it with a screwdriver, knife or ice pick to check for hidden termite activity or damage. probe
Basement walls should be checked for signs of termite tubes.
Look for cracks in basement walls that can lead to termite and other other problems.
Mold or water stains on wood, particularly near water lines may indicate a leak that needs repair. Mold and mildew growing on the wood surfaces do not cause wood decay, but they are a good indicator of excess moisture, which is a condition conducive to termite activity. Mold
Clothes dryer ducts should vent to the exterior of the house. A disconnected or damaged duct will vent warm moist air into the crawlspace, creating conditions conducive to termites. Check periodically to make sure that your dryer duct has not come loose. Vent
Fallen insulation may lead to moisture problems and the paper backing on insulation laying on the ground can be attacked by termites. Rehang or replace fallen insulation. Also, make sure that your insulation is installed properly. In most cases, if there is a vapor barrier (the paper side) on the insulation, it should face your living space (i.e, towards your subfloor). fall insulation
Remember: termites can eat practically anything made of cellulose. Do not leave cardboard boxes and wood debris in the crawlspace. Whenever possible, avoid using your crawlspace for storage.

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