While your home is a source of comfort and safety for you and your family, it might also be a food source for a notoriously destructive pest—termites. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause around $5 billion dollars in property damage each year.
Since they eat wood from the inside out, major structural damage can already be in place even if wooden structures seem perfectly fine from the outside. In extreme cases of infestation, people may have little choice but to raze their beloved homes to the ground, as was the case with a historic home in Dallas.
The Gaston Gazette writes:
Intricate wood designs adorn fireplaces and doorways in the historic, two-story house in Dallas.
But beneath the fine designs, termites have chewed away at the house’s foundation and structure, according to owner John Beaty.
The extensive damage and looming upgrades needed for the home have led Beaty to a tough decision. He’s going to have the 121-year-old house at 216 W. Trade St. torn down.
But from the rubble, Beaty’s son will erect a building that will expand on his car repair business.
While it might be tempting to cast termites as villains, they—like all creatures on this planet—play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Termites perform the vital function of converting dead trees into organic matter, thanks to the special microorganisms in their stomachs that help them digest wood cellulose. However, all wood sources are fair game to them, including your house. When that happens, they easily transform from environment-friends to property-fiends.
One way to prevent termite infestations is by maintaining the gutters in Maine homes. What usually attracts the termites are the standing pools of water in the gutters. Since these are located in close proximity to your roof deck and attic, the backed-up water invites termites to feast on these wooden structures.
Make sure to clean your gutters twice a year to clear out blockages and to avoid possible termite damage. If the gutters need to be replaced, companies like HomeExperts of Maine can install seamless gutters for Maine residents that capably handle even the highest volumes of rainwater.
(Article Excerpt and Image from 121-year-old Dallas house to be demolished, The Gaston Gazette, August 11, 2013)