Ok, you’re wanting to inspect your house and rather than call a licensed professional (we inspect for free 🙂 ) you want to do it on your own…. so , what do you do and what are you to look for ? I’m fix’n to tell ya.
The signs of termite infestation are often in the difficult to reach areas of your home (of course) . Crawlspace inspections can be especially difficult and dirty jobs. The crawlspace is your likliest place to find these beasts though. Skip the crawl space and you will more than likely miss your termite buddies, if you have them.
Check all perimeter foundation walls , pillars, interior walls, pipes, chiminy bases, and hearths for termite tubes ( these are “dirt” tubes often constructed up a structure 1/4 to 1/2 inch in width). Cracks between foundations and sills , in joist, and beams ,especially laminated beams, should be examined carefully for tubes.
Use a probe ( e.g., screwdriver, ice pick, etc) to poke into these structures to find termite damage. Damaged wood will contain soil and digested wood mixtures packed into these termite galleries.
Clearance between soil and untreated sills and joist should be at least 18 inches and for beams and girders at least 12 inches. If there is any wood debris in the crawl space or against the house, remove it…… yes it is termite food ! Also make note of any standing water in your crawl space and on foundation walls and beams as well as any leaks from plumbing particularly under bathrooms , kitchens and utility rooms. Yes, termites need moisture and besides , excess moisture can promote wood rot which is another problem you don’t want to deal with….If you have moisture from leaking pipes, fix them and if you have standing water otherwise then you may need to increase ventilation .
To make sure you have active termites or just old damage that may have been stopped by a previous termite treatment you will need to contact a licensed pest control professional.
Now get your inspection tool , a flashlight and watch out for spiders and snakes and start inspecting !
Have a nice Day ! 🙂