With three different termite species, it is easy to understand why termites are the most destructive insect pests of wood in the Houston area. It is estimated that the Houston and surrounding areas have approximately 16-20 colonies of termites per acre. Even though direct termite damage is not covered under a standard home insurance policy, there are some things you can do to reduce the chances of a termite problem.
Termite Damage Is a Normal Home Insurance Policy Exclusion
The standard home policy includes an exclusion for “Maintenance” issues. Insurance companies consider a termite infestation as preventable and feel that it pertains more to the proper maintenance of your home. Home insurance policies are designed to cover losses that are considered accidental.
Steps To Take To Reduce Chances Of Termite Infestation
Regular Termite Inspections – Schedule an annual termite inspection with a licensed pest control specialist. These experts are trained to spot warning signs of possible infestation and can help prevent damage to your home or business.
Correct Conducive Conditions – Excessive moisture or clutter in the crawl space of your home gives termites the opportunity to set up a colony beneath your house. Small cracks in foundations give termites an entrance way into your home.
Keep Foundation Visible – At least two to three inches of your home’s foundation should be visible to aid in early termite detection. Excessive mulching around the foundation can not only hide a possible infestation, but it also provides a source of food. Removing or thinning foundation vines will help expose termite evidence.
Remove woodpiles and other wood to earth contact – Wood piles next to your foundation are inviting for swarming termites to set up a new colony. You should re-grade to eliminate direct ground contact of home siding.
You may have had your home properly treated for termites, but you must understand that the treatment products used can diminish over time. Also, if you have made additions or other changes to your home, an additional inspection and treatment may be necessary. If you are buying a new home, make sure it has been properly treated for termites. Many pest control companies guarantee their termite treatments by offering a warranty in which they are responsible for additional inspections and/or treatments at agreed intervals. These tiny creatures cost homeowners billions of dollars each year. Termites damage your home from the inside out and if left untreated, a colony can cause considerable damage to your home. Performing proper maintenance and regularly checking for visible signs of a termite infestation can help you eliminate possible damage and very costly repairs.