What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

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What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

by | May 1, 2023 | Property Insurance Claims

What Does Termite Damage Look Like?

Termites are one of the worst pests you can encounter in your home. They destroy the wood and can lead to widespread damage. In the worst-case scenario, your home’s foundation will suffer severe structural damage and become unsafe. That’s why it’s so important to understand the signs of termite damage.

What does termite damage look like? Read on to learn when to call pest control for a termite inspection and how to deal with the insurance company.

Common Wood Problems

Damaged wood is one of the first telltale signs you’ll see if you think you have termites. It comes in several forms. But what does termite damage look like on wood?

Crumbling Wood

One of the first signs of termite damage on wood is wood rot and the appearance of water damage. Your wood will change in appearance and begin to sag, blister, and darken.

You’ll find that the softwood crumbles under pressure if you apply enough.

Hollow Wood

Unfortunately, not all wood damage is visible. Termites can enter your walls and eat away at your home where you can’t see.

However, you can notice this problem if you listen closely enough. If you have a solid wood structure, bang on the wood with your hand, screwdriver, or another object to see if it sounds hollow. If it does, termites may have made their way into your walls.

Buckling Floors and Ceilings

If you have wooden support for your floors and ceilings, termites can get inside them and cause damage. When this happens, your floor and ceiling become less supported and will show outward signs of damage. One common sign of damage in this situation is buckling and warping.

Visible Tunnels and Patterns

Although the ground is one of the most common places people think of termite tunnels, it isn’t the only place they appear. As termites consume wood, they can leave sculpted patterns.

It’s also possible to see tunnels on your walls and baseboards. Termites will tunnel through the interior of wood, and when those tunnels surface, you’ll notice them appear along the termites’ paths.

Paint And Drywall Issues

Warped paint is a sign that termites are chewing away at your walls. As the structure behind the paint gets destroyed, the paint warps, peels, and bubbles.

As termites work through your walls, they’ll eventually get to the drywall. This can be challenging to spot if termites don’t get to the drywall from outside your walls. You may not notice until you see exit holes where termites return to their colonies.

Stuck Doors and Windows

As wood buckles and warps due to termite damage, it can cause problems for doors and windows. Since the wood is no longer a good fit, it becomes harder for doors and windows to close.

If you encounter this problem, examine the wood next to your window and door frames. If the wood there has damage, inspect further to see if there are any other signs of a termite problem.

Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites don’t leave the ground until they are ready to go through the wood. Instead, they build colonies in damp soil and create mud tunnels connecting each termite colony. Termites then travel throughout these tunnels to reach food sources and return to the colonies.

You’ll notice these tunnels appear on the ground as more termites appear. They primarily appear around your home’s foundation and basement floor, in cracks and other exposed areas.

Mud tubes are generally around the width of a pencil, so they aren’t a hard warning sign to spot.

Mold and Mildew

Termites and mold survive in the same environment: rotting and decaying wooden structures. Termites eat the dead wood to survive, and mold accelerates that process of decay. So check any areas around the mold to see if there is termite activity.

Common Challenges With Termite Damage Insurance Claims

Getting a settlement from termite claims isn’t always straightforward. Here are a few common problems homeowners face when filing insurance claims.

Uncertainties About Coverage

Having insurance doesn’t always guarantee termite damage coverage. However, most policies have language that offers coverage for homeowners with no previous knowledge of a termite infestation.

Further, if you recently purchased your home and were unaware of its extensive termite problem, the previous homeowner may have misled you about the issue. In addition to filing a claim for termite damage, residential real estate fraud claims are available. With this type of claim, you may get the previous homeowner to bear financial responsibility for the damage.

Things are more uncertain if you knew you had termites and never called a pest management company. In this situation, you may need help with your termite claim.

Lack of Proper Claim Documentation

Having the proper documentation is essential for your insurance claim. Your insurance provider needs to understand the damage your home has, the cause of the damage, and how widespread the issue is.

A lack of documentation is a big reason why insurance providers deny claims. If you don’t prove your claim, insurance companies use that as an excuse to deny your settlement. If you are unsure of what sort of documentation is needed, please contact us so we can guide you.

Insufficient Settlement Amount

Termite damage isn’t always costly. You may see a few rotten pieces of wood and can quickly repair the damage.

But there are situations when termite damage is severe, like collapsed floors, collapsed decks, and wall damage. Some insurance settlements may not be enough to cover all the damage.

Why You Need a Termite Damage Claims Lawyer

The critical thing to remember about insurance companies is that they don’t always have your best interest in mind. Their goal is to make more money—not pay out as much cash as possible on claims.

There are many ways a termite damage claims lawyer can help:

  • Assist you with assessing the damage to your home
  • Review your policy to see what your coverage is
  • Gather evidence to support your claim
  • Submit your claim with the correct details
  • Negotiate with insurance to get a better settlement

Get Help With Termite Damage Claims Today

Dealing with termite claims is a challenging task. Depending on how bad your damage is, you may need to spend a lot of money to repair the damage and avoid significant damage to the structural integrity of your home.

You shouldn’t have to battle an insurance company on your own. If you’re having trouble getting help with the problem, finding help from an expert is the best way to file a successful claim with your insurance company. At Burnett Law, we have helped many homeowners deal with termite damage and get the help they needed to repair their property. Request a free consultation to speak with a lawyer today.