Your home is more than a place to live. It is the center of your family, your lifestyle, your world. It is also a powerful investment, consistently creating wealth at a rate greater than any other investment vehicle. It makes sense that you'd want to protect this key part of your world with insurance for fire, theft and cataclysmic damage. Meanwhile, you may be experiencing serious damage to your home at this very moment, damage that is not covered by your homeowner's policy: termites!
Yes, we have termites in North Carolina; and while there are dozens of species, there are only two that are known to attack structures: the Eastern Subterranean Termite and the West Indian Powderpost Termite.
The Eastern Subterranean (or Ground) Termite is rarely seen until the damage is done. This is because it lives in the ground and, once it gains access to your wooden structure, it works deep within the wood it infests. Like all termites, this one lives on cellulose, which is contained in all plant matter. The wood used in your home is a cellulose bonanza to a termite! As the Ground Termite devours the cellulose in the studs, rafters, beams and flooring of your house, the strength of the wood degrades and the structure becomes unsound.
The best way to protect yourself from the Ground Termite is to eliminate all instances where the wood in your house comes in contact with the ground. For example, wooden pillars supporting a deck should be on concrete pads elevating the wood above the level of the ground. Slabs and concrete footers should be in good shape because a crack can provide all the access a termite needs to the wood above. Avoid stacking and storing wood of any kind directly on the ground. Also, be careful with trees and plants close to the house. A termite may gain access to the wooden eaves around your roof by way of a tree that touches.
The Powderpost Termite usually arrives by swarming, usually in June or July. Favorite point of entry are wooden door and window enclosures, and any wood is vulnerable whether in contact with the ground or not. The Powderpost Termite works much slower than the Ground Termite and leaves behind tell-tale piles of wood shavings. It does eat the wood, but also burrows into to it to make a place to live. The shavings are the result of this burrowing.
A wise bit of insurance to add to your cadre of policies is a Termite Contract. For a monthly fee, a termite specialist will inspect your home and spot treat as needed throughout the year. While spot treatment is certainly a benefit, the regular inspection by a professional can be instrumental in stopping an infestation before damage becomes severe. At GreatNest we have several Termite companies we recommend and would be pleased to help you make that connection.