Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage?
Homeowners insurance policies are meant to cover damage to the home from covered perils which are sudden and accidental in nature; for this reason, termite damage is generally not covered. Although each year termites cause more than $4 Billion in damage, there is a great reluctance by homeowners to subscribe to a pest control service or at least an annual inspection to avert an ongoing issue.
It is important to note that Termite Damage, Wet Rot, Dry Rot and similar destruction which takes place over an extended period of time is not usually insured; an ongoing inspection and maintenance of the home in question would be the best and cheapest method of protection.
Inspection for Infestation
A great suggestion would be to periodically inspect the home in order to uncover some early signs of a potentially bigger termite problem.
- Termites will generally be found around the foundation of the home and specifically where there are areas of exposed wood which is their food source. Termites are usually white creamy insects which look like a very short version of a worm.
- Signs of damage and decay on wood around the home should be fairly easy to detect; in cases where there is a cement floor or base, you may see powder like wood droppings which are left after the termites digest the food source. In some cases, you may witness termite tunnels which are tunnels of excreted wood and debris through which the termites traverse.
- You may also see wood which seems worn or recessed beneath the surface; you could tap the surface lightly with a hammer to uncover hollow spots or you may use a screwdriver to expose cavities created by the termites at work.
Suggestions of Prevention
As with many insects and pests, the elimination of a food source and an ideal environment for breeding would be the best technique of prevention. Any exterior wood which has contact with dirt or soils around the home should be properly treated.
- Water needs to be prevented from accumulating around the home; soils should be sloped away from the structure and drained away from the foundation.
- Plants and vegetation should not be allowed to grow in close proximity to the home against any wood surfaces. This would promote an ideal environment of moisture against wood which would create the desired food source for pests.
- Cracks and gaps in the foundation and exterior structure of the home should be properly filled and sealed to prevent pests from entering and nesting on the interior out of sight.
- Piles of firewood and refuse should be stored away from the structure; this would be another ideal nesting ground and plentiful food source for pests.
- All exposed wood structures should be properly sealed, dressed and painted or stained on a regular basis to prevent pests from getting into the wood to begin the destruction process.
If any signs of termite infestation are found, it would be advisable to contact a Licensed Pest Control company to professionally treat the areas of concern.