Since the beginning of time, pest control has been almost completely reactive rather than proactive. It kind of stands to reason that someone isn’t going to be really motivated to do anything about ‘a something’ until it occurs. But, maybe we’re ‘missing the boat’ here. Not only that, but those that do have a pest problem and go on a ‘control service’ or get involved in a repair project, just what does that then equate to for their surrounding environment? When it comes to wood pest problems, just how could a person be proactive so that they don’t have to find themselves in a reactive situation? Probably the first thing to do would be to look over your home and try to identify and list where termites or dry rot would most likely occur. I think I would probably start be slowly circling the house a couple of times and carefully look for any soil or debris that has accumulated against any wood members or that has gotten to a point that is near or above the top of the foundation and/or support piers. While excavating and re-grading the soil and debris down and away from the wood members, piers and foundations, I would make sure that grade has ‘fall’ (slope) away from the structure and that there are no low areas or depressions that can collect and hold water. I would also make sure that the roof rain gutter downspouts have some sort of provision to drain and flow out away from the foundations and structure in general. Next I’d probably look close at all of the exterior components of the home and note their condition and if there are any cracks or openings in the siding, trim, windows and doors, which I would then secure, caulk, seal and paint to avoid pests and moisture intrusion. Going through the interior of the home would be mostly just a search for any kind of leaks or moisture accumulation and any sort of deterioration that may have occurred to the floor or wall coverings due to moisture. Finally would come the not so fun part of crawling under the house and looking closely for any earth to wood contacts and removing and wood, paper, cardboard or old tree roots that might be scattered on the soil, which attracts termites. I’d make sure to pay considerable attention to the plumbing pipes for leaks as well as checking closely under the bathrooms’ and kitchen floors for moisture issues and/or deterioration of the wood members. Don’t forget to closely look in the garage, especially along the base of the walls where the ‘cold joint’ crack exists between the concrete floor and the concrete foundation. The cold joint crack is where the termites like to emerge from especially if you’ve made the mistake of placing cardboard boxes or other cellulose materials that they like to eat over the crack. If you were to do these things you probably could avoid most, but not all, of the issues that can lead to wood pests and dry rot. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” which were the famous words of Ben Franklin.
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