All termites cause damage, so to protect your home or business, it’s always best to practice a little prevention during construction phases like pre-treating soil prior to construction, using only treated wood for structural members near of in contact with soil, using baiting systems for monitoring when a structure is finished and having annual inspections by a professional termite inspection technician.
As a home or business owner, there are a few basics to keep in mind. Keep an eye out for leaks, don’t store any type of wood piles near the structure, learn at least the basics about termites and some of the signs that can help you catch an infestation early. There’s a lot of good information about termite prevention readily available to become more prepared.
How Much Damage?
But what if, despite all those preventive measures, you end up with termites anyway? Depending on how early an infestation is confirmed, how well a structure is prepared and what kind of termites you have. Eastern subterranean termites are one of the most common species and pound for pound probably cause the most damage. Several hundred thousand termites, given enough time, will wreak havoc on anything made of wood and then some. Less common with even greater appetites, a Formosan colony can number in the tens of millions so they need less time to do even more damage.
Regardless of the species, early detection is often the biggest difference between $100s or $1000 needed for repairs.
How Much Money?
Probably more than you may be thinking. Earthquakes and fires combined don’t begin to compare to termite damage costs. Throw in tornadoes and the termites STILL win the costliest damage crown when it comes to homes in the United States to the tune of $5 billion annually. I’ve seen several sources coming up with a ballpark figure of $3000 as an average to repair termite damage. But I wouldn’t count on it.
Consider, again, how long have these pests been demolishing your home splinter by splinter? You also have to take into consideration cosmetic damage in addition to any structural damage. Sills in crawl spaces often take the brunt of a termite infestation and at about $100 per foot for repairs so any significant damage in areas like these and floor joist could quickly make that $3000 a starting point rather than an average.
Paint, sheet-rock, and, oh, by the way…there’s always the cost of the professional pest control company to get rid of all those termites. You get the picture. That $3000 may be a distant memory. Hopefully you’ve had at least a little success with some of those preventive measures and/or the problem was discovered early. Thankfully, there are lots of good sources to get more detailed estimates for your home and to learn more about what to expect.