The first step toward protecting your home is a thorough inspection. When you call North American Home Services (NAHS) our state licensed inspector will respond promptly. We will conduct a comprehensive inspection of your home, examining your home from top to bottom. In addition to termites, the inspector will also be looking for fungus and water damage. These conditions could lead to future problems such as plumbing leaks and earth to wood contacts. If problems are found, our inspector will provide you with a written report and show you the location of any active infestation found. We will also point out any areas of dry rot or fungus damage and provide you with recommendations for the proper treatment and/or repair program tailored specifically to your home. Following the inspection we will present the estimated cost to take care of any problems found.
The first step in eliminating these problems is a complete understanding of the pest or organism that is causing the damage. North American Home Services has the knowledge and expertise to combat any wood destroying pest or organism in your home. These pests and organisms may include the following:
These ground dwelling termites are social insects like ants, bees, and wasps. Social insects live in large groups (or colonies), share a nest and divide important biological roles among individuals within the colony. The termite colony consists of a king, queen, eggs, larvae, workers, soldiers, nymphs and reproductive. These are the termites most often found in damaged wood. These creamy white, wingless, blind workers forage for food and construct mud tunnels, enabling them to travel between the soil in which they live and their food source.
Generally subterranean termites gain access to the structure at points where wood touches the ground. In the absence of earth to wood contact, subterranean termites build their own humidity controlled shelter tubes. These tubes, or tunnels, act as a conduit for the termites to travel between the ground and the structure. Subterranean termites primarily obtain their moisture from the soil. No home is completely safe from subterranean termites. In fact we have found that there are only two types of homes; homes that have subterranean termites and homes that will have subterranean termites.
Controlling Subterranean Termites
The highly trained technicians at North American Home Services are experts at keeping your home safe from subterranean termites. Your home is likely to be the most expensive investment you will make and we have the knowledge, the experience, the safest and most effective materials and equipment to protect your home against subterranean termite damage. Because each home is different, our technicians will follow the prescribed treatment methods outlined by our inspector at the time of your initial inspection.
In most cases he will prescribe a liquid termiticide application between the soil and your home. The most effective way of spreading it is through narrow trenches, placed adjacent to the base of the exterior foundation. At points along the exterior where concrete abuts the structure, (such as patios, driveways, walkways and porches), small holes are drilled in the concrete, along the foundation. The material is then applied to the soil beneath the concrete and the holes are patched. If your home has a crawl space beneath it, our technicians will go under your home and treat the soil at the base of the foundations, pier posts, and places where plumbing may emerge from the soil and extend into the structure.
Our goal is to construct a treated soil zone around the perimeter of your home. After the material has had time to become effective, your entire home will be termite free. To ensure that your home stays that way, North American Home Services will provide you with the most comprehensive warranty in the industry.
Control Service Agreement — Warranty
Upon completion of the subterranean termite treatment, your home may qualify for our control service agreement warranty covering the eradication or control of future infestations of subterranean termites. Our coverage includes a full inspection of the property at least once every three years from the date of the initial eradication, and if any additional treatment is necessary, it will be completed at no additional cost to you. With a thorough initial treatment by North American Home Services, and regular inspections by our licensed inspectors, your home will stay termite free for many years to come.
Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not live in the ground. They do not need contact with the soil to survive and do not build shelter tubes to gain entry into your home. Drywood termites fly into structures and infest the wood directly. They typically infest exposed wood such as window frames, doorframes, and exterior trim and attic wood members. The homeowner may initially see signs of infestation such as shed wings. As time goes by, and the colony enlarges, dry wood termite pellets (or droppings) may be seen near the infested wood. Although the colony development is slow, severe structural damage can occur.
Controlling Drywood Termites
During the course of your initial inspection, our licensed inspector will prescribe the best method to eradicate the drywood infestation. In early infestations getting rid of the termites may be as simple as removing or treating the wood that they are infesting. In a localized treatment the material is injected into the infested wood and into the accessible termite galleries. The material will kill all of the termites it will reach.
Finding all of the drywood termites in your home may not always be possible. Drywood termites do their damage in hidden places — inside walls, roof beams and foundation studs. Even the point where they enter a home is not always visible to an inspector. To make them harder to find, termites do not stay in their galleries, the may migrate from place to place, foraging up to four yards away. Many homes, especially older ones, may have more than one colony working at a given time. Even the most thorough of inspectors may not be able to spot all of the infestations, especially in older homes. In these cases, your inspector may not prescribe a localized treatment.
Your inspector may recommend that you have your home fumigated by North American Home Services. Structural fumigation is a highly technical procedure, which involves surrounding the structure with a gas-tight tarpaulin, releasing a gas into the structure that eradicates all of the termites in the structure and aerating the fumigant after a sufficient exposure time. Unlike localized treatments, the fumigant will penetrate the wood through its pores and reach all of the termites that may be foraging through the wood in your home. None of the termites are beyond the reach of the fumigant and none will be left behind to do damage to your home. When the tarp is removed from your home and the fumigant has vanished, the fumigation is completed; you will notice no residue of the treatment. It completely dissipates into the atmosphere.
Dampwood termites build their nests in wet wood. Contact with the ground is not needed; however, dampwood termites need a large amount of moisture to survive. They get this moisture directly from the wood in which they are infested. Typically the homeowner may find dampwood termites in logs or fallen trees in the yard, or in exterior wood members exposed to the elements, such as deck boards and fence boards.
Controlling Dampwood Termites
The treatment and control of the dampwood termite revolves around its reliance on high amounts of moisture to survive. Your inspector may prescribe a methods of eradication that involve removing and replacing the damaged wood and eliminating, or correcting, the source of moisture that contributed to the infestation. In most cases, dampwood termites can be controlled without using chemical materials.
Wood Boring Beetles
Many homes in our service area are particularly susceptible to wood boring beetle infestations. After termites, wood boring beetles are the next most important wood-destroying insects in homes. Wood damaged by beetles has numerous “shot holes” in the surface. You may notice a powder like substance emanating from the holes. The small pieces of frass or sawdust a produced by the larvae as they tunnel through the wood may sift from the wood when it is bumped or probed. Substructure framing such as subfloors, floor joists, and piers are particularly vulnerable to attack.
Wood boring beetles are commonly found in areas of high moisture contact. In many cases, substructure framing in crawl spaces with poor ventilation may lead to beetle infestations. The amount of damage from wood boring beetles may vary based on the species of beetle; however, in all cases the damage will weaken structural timbers. This damage results primarily from the feeding activities of the beetle larvae.
Controlling Wood Boring Beetles
Your North American Home Services inspector may recommend a variety of methods to rid your home of wood boring beetles. First, recommendations may be made to control or alleviate the moisture in the substructure area. Reducing the moisture content in the wood will help prevent future infestations of wood boring beetles. Your inspector also may make recommendations to increase the ventilation in the substructure as needed to reduce the moisture content in the wood and substructure crawl space.
In some cases North American Home Services technicians will remove the infested and damaged wood from the structure, treat the adjacent wood members with a specially developed insecticide for wood boring beetles and replace the damaged wood members.
Wood Decay Fungi — Fungus and Dry Rot
Even if your home is free from termites or beetles, your inspector may find areas of decay due to dry rot or fungus damage. “Dry Rot” is a misleading term, since the wood has actually been damaged by the effects of excessive moisture. All wood decay is caused by one of a variety of fungi. This fungus occurs naturally and becomes established within the fibers of the wood if the wood becomes wet for protracted periods of time. Decay fungi can cause severe structural damage to any wood member. Decay fungi needs oxygen, water and a food supply (cellulose) to survive. Wood kept dry will never decay.
Brown rot fungi feeds on the cellulose in the wood, a component of the wood cell walls, were leaving behind the outer shell (or lignin), thus giving the wood a brown appearance. Infected wood can be greatly weakened even before decay can be seen. Advanced stages of brown rot will show signs cracking across the grain of the wood.
White Rot attacks both the cellulose and the lignin in the wood causing the color of the wood to turn whiter than normal. Wood affected by white rot normally does not crack across the grain and will shrink and collapse when degraded. Infected wood shrinks and becomes sponge-like to the touch.
Controlling Wood Decay Fungi — Fungus and Dry Rot
Your inspector may recommend having the wood removed and replaced by trained and licensed technicians from North American Home Services. In addition recommendations will be made to correct the source of the moisture that may have contributed to the fungus infection. As a preventative measure the repaired areas may be treated with a fungicide to prevent future infections.
Rest assured that whatever the results of your inspection, North American Home Services can solve all of your problems. From eradicating termites and beetles to replacing wood damaged by fungus and dry rot. Our highly skilled technicians can work on any portion of your home that may need attention. Dry Rot or termite damage may occur in any area of the home. North American Home Services routinely replaces damaged framing at the eaves, attic, and crawl space areas. We also do full bathroom repair and replacement, as well as siding and trim repair at the exterior. Our skilled craftsmen can efficiently repair any portion of your home with speed and ability.