How to termite-proof your home

How to termite-proof your home
They may be small, but termites can wreak real damage to your home if you don't take preventative measures to stop them.

Termites are a type of small insect that lives in large colonies. They consume what is known as cellulose-based materials, which are any non-synthetic, organic material, such as wood or plants. This diet can pose a real threat to homes reliant on wooden structures, such as wooden beams, staircases, ceilings or flooring. Termites can tear off small amounts of wooden material, which can cause wood to become porous and weak, eventually leading to collapse or decay.

One of the best ways to prevent a future termite infestation is to choose the right kind of wood before construction begins. Termites are less inclined to eat their way through woods like juniper, redwood or cedar.

As termites need moist or damp areas to survive, eliminating these conditions from your home is another way to prevent them from colonising your home. Plants that are close to the home need to be constantly pruned to ensure they do not allow moisture to cause mouldy, damp places on the walls of your home. The manner in which you water plants close to your home also makes a difference. Do not water directly into walls and position sprinklers to spray away from the sides of your home. 

Good ventilation inside your home also goes a long way to preventing termite infestations because termites rely on moist environments for survival. Ventilation in any crawl spaces in your home should be installed to prevent a build up of moisture and heat. 

Another way to limit termite populations on your property is to remove their food sources. Keep firewood, paper waste or garden debris away from openings to your home, such as air vents. Protective screens should also be placed over any openings to the home that are close to wooden substances or moist soil. Finally, always ensure that any exposed wood on the exterior of your home is layered with a protective sealant, which will prevent both excess moisture from damaging and softening the wood, and deters termites from eating the wood.