There is a misconception amongst most homeowners that termites are inactive during the winter especially when snow starts to pile up. If a termite swarm targeted your house in fall, and you missed the signs, these insects could be silently feeding on your home right now. In the walls of a man made structure, termites can eat wood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And, they’ll do it at full capacity, if they find a spot near a heat vent or hot water pipe.
In the United States, termites account for over $5-6 billion dollars in property damage each year. These insects can create repair jobs that are a nightmare to fix, and even render a home unrepairable.
Business and home owners should take steps to avoid termite infestation, especially if they have noticed ice dams on the eaves, before the ground begins to warm and termites emerge in full force. Here are a few tips:
- Clear snow off roofs before it hardens. Frozen snow is much harder to remove and can cause severe damage.
- Install snow and ice shields on the roof.
- Clean out gutters regularly, especially before and after a snowfall. Gutter guards can help make cleanup easy.
- Repair rotted roof shingles and fascia boards.
- Add insulation to building ceilings and attics.
- Seal and insulate HVAC ducts.
- Close gaps around vent pipes and electrical cables.
- Install chimney flashing to avoid leaks.