Is Termite Protection Worth It?
If you’re learning about termite protection for the first time, you may be wondering if it’s something you really need.
DIY home termite protection is worth the time and expense for most people. However, termite warranties may not be worth the money unless your home is at a high risk of termite damage. You should also remember that a termite warranty often does not cover repairs caused by termites, only the cost of extermination.
Should I Take Measures to Protect My Home From Termites?
Yes, you should take measures to protect your home from termites.
Because of America’s vast forests, almost all homes in the United States have wooden frames.
Thus, the majority of US houses are at risk of termite damage.
And termite damage can be quite expensive and can even destroy a home to the point that it needs to be demolished.
Yet, even if your house does not have a wood frame, termites can also destroy other wood items in your home or yard.
Therefore, every homeowner should take steps to prevent their house from becoming termite food.
How Can I Protect My Home From Termites?
Below I’ll detail some of the best ways to help protect your home from termites.
1. Don’t Leave Wood in the Dirt
If you have any wood that makes direct contact with the ground, it will be much easier for termites to find and infest it.
So, you should check around your home for any wood that touches the earth.
Older homes, especially, often have wood siding that ends right in the dirt, giving you no protection against termites.
Thus, if you have wood siding on your home, you should push any nearby soil away from it.
Or, if the wood sinks into the ground, you should dig it out so that there is some room between the wood and the earth.
You should also check wooden steps and posts on your property to see if they are too close to the ground.
If so, you can either move the dirt away or have the structures replaced with a non-wood material.
Furthermore, you should refrain from placing wooden outdoor furniture directly in the dirt or grass.
Instead, keep these items on top of concrete or purchase non-wooden furniture in the future.
2. Keep Water Away From Your Foundation
Many termite species prefer moisture.
So, if the wood around your home is often moist, the insects will have more of an incentive to infest it.
Therefore, you should work to improve your drainage system.
One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to make sure your downspouts drain away from your home.
If water does not properly drain away from your house when it exits the downspout, you may need to get a downspout extension.
Additionally, you need to keep water from pooling around your home’s foundation.
Thus, if your yard is prone to flooding, it may be best to create a slope in the dirt that allows water to move away from the house.
3. Keep Firewood and Other Wood Sources Away From Your Home
Since termites primarily consume wood, you should not leave any of it near your home.
Otherwise, the termites may live in that wood, making it more likely that they’ll find your home and start eating away at it.
So, it is best to keep firewood, lumber, and wooden furniture away from your house.
Ideally, you should keep them as far away as possible.
Yet, in general, it is good practice to leave these items at least 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters) away from your home.
4. Move Mulch at Least a Foot Away From Your Foundation
Many people like to put garden beds right against their house.
However, termites can eat many different types of mulches.
So, if the termites find the mulch next to your house, they will swarm it, which may lead them to your home.
What Is a Termite Warranty?
A termite warranty is a type of termite protection guaranteeing that a company will exterminate any termite infestations your home develops.
This warranty can be quite important because exterminating termites is often an expensive and lengthy process.
In some cases, a termite warranty also covers the costs of repairs if your home already has termite damage, but not many plans include this, so read carefully.
Is a Termite Warranty Worth It?
Unfortunately, it is hard to determine whether a termite warranty is worth it.
In general, though, I can say that if your home is at a high risk of termite infestation, it is a good idea to consider a termite warranty.
What Homes Are Most At Risk of Termites?
In the sections below, I will describe some of the homes most at risk of termite damage to help you decide whether you should get a termite warranty.
Wood Frame Homes
As I stated above, most homes in the United States have wooden frames.
In fact, more than 90% of houses in the US are wood framed.
Therefore, most people in the country are at risk of a severe termite infestation.
Homes in Areas Where Termites Are Common
In general, termites are the most common in the southeastern United States, particularly in the states of:
- South Carolina
California homes also have a high rate of infestation, as do houses in the southern parts of North Carolina, Tennesse, and Arkansas, as well as the eastern portion of Texas.
So, if you live in these areas, a termite warranty could be a good investment for you.
Conversely, if you live in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana, or North Dakota, your chances of getting termites is very low.
And if you reside in Alaska, you are at no risk of termites because they do not live in that state.
For the most part, the older your home, the more susceptible it is to termites.
Since termite prevention techniques have progressed substantially over the years, older homes often have very outdated termite protection technology.
Also, even if your decades-old home did have termite prevention built into it, there is a good chance that those safeguards have long since faded.
Homes Prone to Flooding
Most termites prefer moisture and moist wood in particular.
So, if your yard is prone to flooding or you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, termites are more likely to devour the wood on your house.
Are Termite Inspections Important?
Termite inspections are important, especially if your home is at risk of termites.
A yearly termite inspection will help you determine if you have an infestation and will allow you to treat it early before the termites can do extensive damage.
Also, keep in mind that you should have a professional perform the inspection because termite damage can be hard to find and identify on your own.
Overall, DIY termite protection is worth it for just about every homeowner because it helps prevent termites from gnawing on your house.
But, when it comes to a termite warranty, not everyone requires this type of protection.
Table of Contents
- Should I Take Measures to Protect My Home From Termites?
- How Can I Protect My Home From Termites?
- What Is a Termite Warranty?
- Is a Termite Warranty Worth It?
- What Homes Are Most At Risk of Termites?
- Are Termite Inspections Important?