How to Identify Termite Damage In Your Home

Garage
If walls are not covered at the garage it might be easy to detect drywood infestation. You need a flashlight and look at right areas. As soon as you enter the garage turn left or right and look at studs and especially cripples near the garage door. Usually there are cripples which are perpendicular to studs about 1-1.15 feet from the ground level. Direct your flashlight and look and see if there are pullets which look like sawdust. If you see any of those, most likely they are drywood pullets which they kick out from the wood to clear more space for them. If you do not find those near garage door keep on looking at other areas on cripples and above beams. These droppings get caught be wood members which are horizontal or are on the ground level such as cripples which enforce vertical studs and mudsills which are the first wood member attached to the ground level on a concrete foundation or slab. Even if you do not find anything looking like sawdust there, you may still be able to find them yourself. Most common area infested by drywood in garage is the top beam above garage door. This is the horizontal heavy wood members right above the garage door inside the garage. Close the garage door, take a ladder and look with your flashlight above that beam. Look at corners as well as at center.

Exterior
Many times exterior wood members such as fascia boards, rafter tails, roof sheeting are infested and even damaged by drywoods, however they do not show. To try to find out yourself, take something similar to a stick 1.5-2 feet long. It can be metallic, plastic or wooden. You can use a plastic or wooden broom for that, painting extension or a shovel. Now, you also need a cardboard which is close to the size of a clipboard or regular letter-size paper. You can cut a cardboard from storage boxes. It better be white. Now when you start checking wood members outside, you need to hit them with the stick and see what is dropping to the cardboard. Just hold the cardboard horizontally right under the wood members you are hitting and see if you see something similar to sawdust coming. You can also pock wood members. If they get damaged, you can patch them with silicon or exterior patching material, unless they will need professional repairs.

Attic
CAUTION! I do not recommend anyone not professional to check the attic. However, if you decide to do so, make sure you step on on joists, if you step on ceiling you may or will fall down from the attic. Principles is the same, though most drywoods are close to ventilation areas in attic. You might also need to move insulation and pock the wood same way as on exterior.

Subarea
CAUTION! I do not recommend anyone not professional to check subarea. However, if you decide to check, there may not be drywoods in subarea but other type- subterranean termites. Look on foundations and cross foundations for dark vertical lines which may seem at first as if there was a leak on that part. However, if you approach and get closer and touch and see it is actually a dirt which has soil in it, it means others are trailing their way to the house through these tubes. If there are pieces of wood on the soil, take them turn them around and see if it is eaten without being rotten. You should be able to see tunnels going though which again means the other type – subterraneans are damaging it.

Other areas
Take screwdriver and check door frames and windows from inside and outside. Also, look carefully other areas inside the house. Look for these pullets similar to sawdust and/or damage from them. Drywood damage almost always has these sawdust-like pullets in it. Subterranean damage always has soil or dirt in it, while fungus damage is in the wood which is wet or used to be wet.

Even though your inspection might not be professional or being close to a professional inspection, however you might get some results.

Take into consideration that 70-95% of the wood in the house is inaccessible. These wood members include but are not limited to unreachable areas in attic, exterior, garage, subarea where the wood is exposed. Wood covered by stucco, drywall on exterior box of the house and partition walls, etc. Note that termites like more stable temperature and moisture, and while they can access from outside, but to survive they will drill channels though the wood and move into inside the house.