Termites live in huge colonies and are known to be one of the most destructive pests in the US. They are also considered silent destroyers because they can eat their way through the wood, wooden flooring or furniture, as well as wallpaper and other cellulose-containing natural materials without being noticed.
Keep reading to find out if your brick or concrete house is safe from termites.
Can Termites Bore Through Concrete Or Eat Through Brick?
Although termites are believed to destroy houses, they prefer wood and organic materials for nutrition and cannot digest concrete or brick.
However, houses made of concrete, steel frame, brick, or even double-brick can be at risk of termite attack. This is why these pests just get in and start eating anything they come across, which is made of wood, or the paper on drywall, or any organic materials containing cellulose. They find their way into concrete or brick through foundation walls, tiny cracks, concrete slabs, spaces between wires, and expansion joints that are hidden by flooring or carpets. Once the termites get into the house, the presence of wood in your home structures allows them to start a colony.
Brick and concrete homes with brick veneers and concrete slabs are the easiest targets for termites due to the wet conditions underneath the slabs, which is the best for termites to thrive. Older structural bricks are also prone to termites as they contain plaster over wood direct to the bricks with no space, therefore, giving termites access to the wood once they get through.
The environment and materials surrounding the building can also encourage termites to build a colony and infest the house. Thus, it is wise to keep mulch and wood, e.g. logs, away from the foundations, use wood that is treated to build decks, and have termite inspections done on a regular basis.
Signs Of Termites In Concrete And Brick House
Most common signs of termite presence in concrete and brick houses:
- Swaying and loose floor and wall tiles.
- Smell of mold in the house.
- Squeaking of floorboards.
- Sawdust-like termite droppings that resemble pepper, are concentrated in one place.
- Randomly discarded wings left on ledges.
- Mud tunnels inside the cracks along the wall and on the floor.
- Cracking of interior and exterior house walls.
- Sagging of floor, walls, and ceilings.
- Difficulty opening and closing doors and windows.
What Does Termite Damage Look Like In A Brick Or Concrete House?
It always looks like water damage due to the unusual appearance, peeling, and discoloration of the paint. The area affected by termites tends to have soft spots, sunken lines, small pinholes, and cracks, and appears bubbly and peels off.
These are made of small pieces of soil, debris, and excretion that run through the foundation and walls of the house, and expand over time. The tunnels allow the termites to travel from their colonies to the food source. Termites require warm temperatures and moisture to survive and feel protected from predators, which is why the mud tunnels are effective. However, the tunnels cause more damage since the walls are thin, making them easy to spread and affecting the strength and firmness of the wall.
The large pale-colored wings are left by the termite swarmers at entry points as they find their mates and create new colonies. The discarded wings are mostly found near closed doors, windows, and entryways.
These are dust-like pellet-shaped particles that are pushed out by the termites as they build and consume their way through the walls. They can be found at the base of the wall and indicate early signs of a termite infestation in the wall.
Moisture and water leakage:
Once termites enter a home through cracks in the foundation and hollow spaces in bricks, they damage nearby wood that is important for supporting the structure. They also feed on flooring and ceilings, which can cause leakage of water and moisture in the home, causing an unpleasant mold odor.
Stuck and loose doors and windows:
After the termites have damaged the foundation, the house shift affects the doors and windows. Once they are inside the walls, they weaken the frames of the door and windows in such a way that they become wobbly and get in a different position.
As you can see, a house made of brick can also be damaged by termites. This is also when window panels and doors are made of wood. In addition, houses can have internal walls or exterior siding made of brick veneers. The veneers are thin, lightweight, and the structural support often comes from the wood, therefore, they are much easier for these pests to eat through. Termites will bore through the wood causing it to decay and have holes. This makes the house appear old and dilapidated, hence becoming difficult to sell or live in because it is unsafe. The sad part is that termite infestation usually goes unnoticed until the damage that is expensive to recover has been done.
Peachtree Pest Control in Metro Atlanta is your trusted local pest and termite control service. To request a termite extermination cost or schedule an inspection, contact us today. You’ll be glad you did!