How To Properly Inspect Timber for Termite Damage

by Carter Toni

Termites can damage wood before and after it has been harvested, making it important that you hire building and pest inspection Perth to inspect the timber fully to determine the presence of termites or termite damages. To do so, the bark will need to be removed in some areas for a clear view of the inside wood, and a magnifying glass may be useful for checking smaller areas.

Check for Rotting Wood

When looking for termites, a good place to begin is by looking for rotting wood. They prefer wood in this phase and will often be found in any areas of rotting wood that have occurred. If you have timber with sections of rotting wood or is near rotted wood, then it is vital to inspect it further to determine if termites are present. This is because the wood will become hollow in the center where they burrow for food.

Look for Carvings

As termites burrow through the wood, they leave trails or carvings in the areas they have passed through. These small hollow trails where they have eaten the wood in front of them, crisscrossing throughout the wood. In some areas, they will burrow deeper, and the paths may not be seen directly underneath the bark, so it is necessary to check a few spaces and look for where they may have entered the timber in an attempt to hollow out the inside.

Inspect for Wings

As termites work through the wood, they will often leave behind wings that have fallen off or are left from those who have died and droppings. These can gather in one area and be found in collections at areas they have entered the wood. They may also gather outside in the areas that they have infested the wood or built homes. Any sign of termite droppings is a warning that they are present, and it may take a closer examination to determine where they are and how bad the infestation is.

Check for Hollow Sounds

Using a hammer or rubber mallet, tap the wood and check for hollow sounds. This will produce a different sound than solid wood, and where the wood creates a hollow sound, it is important to check within the wood. For example, a small hole can be drilled into the wood and look for the above concerns. Another sound to pay attention to is a rustling within the wood as termites do not sleep, and there will often be noise as they move throughout the wood.

What to do Next

If you find signs of a termite, it is important to have an exterminator attend. If the wood has not yet been used, move it away from the rest so it won’t go from one piece to the next and infest the rest of the wood. Once the infested wood has been removed, it can be contained, and never store fresh wood near wood that has begun rotting as it will often allow for termites to move from the rotting wood to the healthy timber, including storing rotting wood near the house.

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