Last week I inspected a house in Cary and discovered termites. When I told the buyer about the termites and the termite damages I found, they were shocked. They were so surprised that the slab home that they were buying had termites. “How can we have termites?” they asked, “This home is on a cement slab!” This is a statement we hear quite a bit. There is a myth or just misinformation out there that a concrete slab home shouldn’t get termites because it has a cement foundation/floor. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many times we see termites and termite damage on slab homes in Raleigh/Durham during our termite inspections. In fact termites can go hidden in the walls of slab homes much longer before we discover them leading to more termite damage than with a house with a crawlspace foundation.
The termites in our area are subterranean, meaning that they live in/under the ground. Termites have to travel back and forth from the ground, to the wood of your home, on a continual basis to survive. Many slab foundations have expansion joints, cracks, and wooden structural members that are closer to the ground than a crawlspace home. This allows the termites access to damage the wood in your home and since the wood is closer to the ground, allows termite damage to occur quicker. There are several areas that need to be inspected to ensure your slab home is not being attacked by termites.Around the exterior of the home
Many times siding, porch posts, and access points are close to the ground around the exterior of the home. Look for mud tubes that termites use to travel in and around the base of your home.termite tubes on slab wall Look for soft/damaged wood around the base of your home. Push/probe siding and trim around your door casings, windows, doors, and any wall penetrations around the home to look for termite damage. Pull back mulch and soil that are near the siding or any wood members of the house. This is the easiest entry for termites.
Look for mud tubes in the expansion joint (where the slab meets the foundation wall) in the garage areas. Sound (tap/bang) on the baseboard around all the walls adjacent to the exterior wall listening for hollow areas or damage just below the paints surface. Check around toilets and any others areas of the slab where pipes/wires penetrate below the slab. If hardwood floors are present, look closely for new/changing discolorations of the wood or waviness on the floor. Sound areas listening for hollow areas. Termites can be very hard to discover, even for the professional, in slab homes. To have peace of mind, call in a professional to inspect your home to ensure that termites are not eating away at your largest investment. Innovative Pest Solutions performs over a thousand termite inspections every year in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and the surrounding areas. Not only can we find them, we can guarantee that we can get rid of them, or prevent you from ever having them. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about termites in your slab home.