Winter—wet season for a lot of areas—means high termite infestation susceptibility even if people cannot see the critters as clearly as they do during swarming season. It has already been mentioned on this blog before that termites are hard at work even during wintertime, but it bears repeating, because so few are aware of it: simply because you cannot see termites does not necessarily mean you do not need termite control measures for your property.
When preparing for winter’s termite control, you should think first of all about your plumbing. Plumbing is actually a major culprit for the moisture that permits termites to live in your house: a lot of leaks go by unnoticed save for the critters, who are capable of finding that moisture with uncanny skill and using it to supply their other main requirement for life, which would be water. The combination of water and wood is irresistible to foraging termites, so it pays if you give your house’s walls and plumbing system a regular check-up to ensure that there are no damp spots on the walls, boards, or even cement.
Do not forget to check your hot water system as well if you have one. These tend to take a great deal of use during the cool months and are sometimes already worked into disrepair without owners knowing it: a common symptom of breakdown is a leak from the heater, usually due to a shot pressure relief valve, that discharges water into the surrounding area. Water usually ends up spilling from vents on expansion tanks for hot water systems—sometimes even due to overly hot boilers—so be sure to check all possible areas where water leakage might occur. Check for blockages, leaks, or badly configured devices.
Finally, you should be sure to take a look at the roof. It might seem an odd place to inspect when thinking about termite prevention, but it has to do with moisture again. For one thing, most old or middle-aged homes already have leaks that are simply not detected by the property owner. For another, there is the roof gutter to consider.
The gutter of a roof must be intact and working perfectly: this is a crucial point of good termite control for residences, because broken, clogged, or dripping gutters often drip collected moisture and precipitate onto the foundations of the structure. This moisture presents a prime opportunity for more than termites to invade your home: it is also an invitation for mold and decay to occur at the base of your house. Be very careful about your roof and its gutters because it can easily bring problems for the rest of the building if you fail to inspect it regularly.