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What Happens When You Have Property Damage After Termite Contract Expires?

August 3, 2022
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A regular termite inspection is crucial to keep the pests out, especially for properties that were already infested before. Having a termite bond for the property ensures that pests won’t return and attack the premises. However, some homeowners think it’s a waste of money and let their termite warranty expire – leaving their home vulnerable to pests more than ever.

So what should homeowners do when they find termite damage on the property after the termite contract expires? A termite infestation lowers the value of a property, so it’s important to call a pest control company immediately to get rid of the pests. Failure to disclose the history of property damage caused by termites to the real estate agent or buyer might lead to lawsuits or other punitive damages.

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Property Damage and Expired Termite Contract: What Should You Do?

Termite problem is a common household concern that affects about 600,000 homes in the country every year. These wood destroying insects can incur thousands of dollars in termite control and repair efforts, so it’s important to exterminate them immediately or prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

For homeowners, one of the best ways to minimize the risk of a termite attack is to sign a termite bond with a pest control company that specializes in termite inspection, treatment, and damage repair.

But in some unfortunate cases, termite property damage only shows after the previous termite protection contract has expired. The best thing homeowners can do is contact a reliable termite company immediately to get rid of the pests.

If you just moved into the property and the history of termite attack wasn’t disclosed to you, then there’s the option of filing a lawsuit – forcing the seller to shoulder the costs of termite treatment for the house.

What You Need to Know About Termite Contracts

A termite bond is an agreement between a homeowner and a termite company that serves as an insurance policy for the house. Each termite bond has different terms, but most of them state that the pest control company should reimburse the homeowner for all the costs of repairs for the termite damage, treatment, and retreatment. Termite bonds are typically effective after the termite inspection and treatment are performed.

Termite control treatments for recurring termite infestations are free for as long as it’s stated in the termite bond. Periodic inspections and damage compensations are also included in many termite warranties offered by professional termite exterminators.

Termite contracts are often confused with a termite letter, which is simply a written notice or statement that tells buyers that their new home is free of termites upon the time of inspection.

Why Are Termite Contracts Important?

One of the most important things to ask the pest control company is if their termite bond is transferable. These bonds aren’t required by many states, but having a transferable termite bond gives the buyer peace of mind that their home is termite-free for a long time.

If a home inspector finds an active termite infestation or a high likelihood of termite activity, then the buyer may demand that the seller take out a termite bond first before purchasing the house. Some lenders might also require an at-risk home to get a termite warranty first before they approve a mortgage.

Who Offers Termite Bonds?

Termite bonds are issued by certified pest control companies after the termite inspection and treatment. Some home inspectors may work with trusted termite control companies to help homeowners and homebuyers find a service provider quickly.

When Should You Get Termite Contracts?

Pest control companies offer termite bonds upon initial inspection, regardless if you’re selling, buying, or remodeling the property. Termite inspections might only be required for areas with a history of termite infestations or if the property has displayed signs of termite activity. However, sellers are still obligated to disclose if the property has suffered termite damage and other pest infestations before.

It’s recommended for homeowners to get a termite bond immediately even before they see wood destroying organisms in their homes. The late discovery of the termite colony only hinders transactions if you’re planning to sell the house. If you’re also worried about the recurrence of termites, then a termite bond can give you protection and peace of mind.

How Soon Can Termite Damage Show?

Termites are extremely quiet when they attack, so most of the termite damage only becomes obvious when it’s already severe. Depending on the size of the termite colony, these pests can take about 3 to 8 years to show significant structural damage. To prevent this from happening, homeowners must watch out for early signs of termite damage.

Signs of Termite Damage and Infestation to Watch Out for

  • Mud tunnels created by subterranean termites that serve as pathways from the soil to the wood they consume
  • Hollow sounds on the wooden structures left by the termites as they eat and tunnel through the wood
  • Rustling noises inside floors and walls at night as the pests scurry around
  • Discolored, warped, or blistered wood in the walls, floors, and crawl spaces of the house
  • Piles of shed wings near the opening of damaged wood hours after seeing a swarm of termites nearby
  • A collection of frass near wooden structures, appearing as coarse sawdust but it’s actually a combination of termite feces, wood shavings, and some dead termites

Repairing Termite Damage in Your Property Without Termite Contract

Termite bonds can help save homeowners thousands of dollars that are otherwise spent on termite control efforts and extensive damage repair bills. But if you find termite damage at home right after the termite contract expired, you can still repair the damages in different ways:

1) Replace All Damaged Wood

Repairing or replacing the infested wood on the property is crucial. The damaged wood left alone weakens the structural integrity of the building. It’s also a way to ensure that the termites are gone for good – if they manage to survive the extermination treatments.

Replacing all damaged wood can be quite expensive, so homeowners have the choice to repair the old ones to cut some costs. However, it’s important to examine the extent of the damage first to see if wood adhesives and sealants are enough to take care of the problem. In some cases, the damaged portion of the wood should be removed first before a supporting wood is installed.

After repairing or replacing all the wood around the property, homeowners should also address the water leak or moisture problem at home. If left unattended, these moisture problems can destroy or soften the wood, attracting more termites to the property.

2) Use Natural Termite Repellents

Instead of using a store-bought termiticide that contains toxic chemicals, many homeowners prefer natural repellents to get rid of the termites at home. While some of them work to kill or keep out the wood destroying insects, these home remedies are better used for small infestations instead of large ones. Here are some of the most common natural termite repellents found at home:

  • Nematodes – These parasitic worms are natural predators of termites and other common household pests. They enter the bodies of termites and poison their blood.
  • Boric Acid – This compound messes the digestive and nervous systems, resulting in the slow death of multiple termites in the colony. Boric acid is usually added to sugar or honey to create a bait station and lure termites out.
  • Orange Oil – This essential oil contains d-limonene, a compound that kills termites by dissolving their exoskeleton. This causes the pests to lose most of their moisture and proteins until they slowly die.
  • Sunlight – Termites die within a few minutes of exposure to direct heat and sunlight. This treatment works best for furniture pieces that are infested with termites.

3) Call a Termite Extermination Professional

If the termite infestation doesn’t go away even after trying different home remedies, then you might be dealing with a larger infestation that involves at least one parent colony and multiple satellite colonies. Calling a professional termite exterminator is the best way to get rid of the termites for good because they have the right training, experience, and equipment to handle the termite problem.

Termite control companies may use the same termite treatments that homeowners tried before, but they typically use professional-grade chemicals and termiticides that aren’t commercially available. After the termite treatment, they may offer termite bonds and regular inspections to keep the property termite-free.

How to Keep Termites at Bay When Your Termite Contract Just Expired

When the termite bond expires, homeowners should renew the agreement immediately to protect their homes from property damage. Meanwhile, some preventative measures can keep the house termite-free for some time like:

  • Use chemical-treated wood when constructing or remodeling the house.
  • Remove all untreated wood products from the house and make sure to avoid wood-to-ground contact when storing them
  • Fix all the holes in the foundation, as well as the water leaks and other sources of moisture problems.
  • Keep the gutters clear of dead leaves and water buildup as much as possible.
  • Make sure that the attic, crawl space, or basement is dry and well-ventilated at all times.
  • Avoid storing mulch and other vegetation near the foundation of the building.
  • Talk to a pest control company about refilling the termiticide of the previously treated soil around the house.

But even with these termite prevention measures in place, termite attacks are still difficult to stop. If you notice early signs of termite activity at home, make sure to contact a pest control company immediately to know more about the situation.

Depending on the extent of damage, they may use different treatments like termite bait stations, liquid termite treatments, or soil and barrier treatments to keep the pests out of the property. Most of these companies also offer termite damage repair services to their clients.

Termite Treatments and Maintenance By Positive Pest Management

At Positive Pest Management, we understand how termite infestations can be a huge problem for people selling their homes or for those who just bought a new one. We offer pre-construction and post-constructions termite treatments for our residential and commercial clients. We also provide regular inspections of the treated properties to ensure that the pests won’t return there anytime soon. 

With several years of experience serving different homes and businesses in New York City, we have the expertise and equipment needed to eliminate the toughest termite problems. Call us today to know more about our services or to get a free quote.

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