Termites and Hardwood Floors

Do hardwood floors make your home a target for termites? This is a fear that keeps some homeowners from choosing this highly durable and beautiful option for their flooring. So, let’s explore the facts. Termites love to munch on all kinds of wood – but they have to get inside your home before they can start chowing down on your floor. This is why pest professionals will tell you that having the frame of your home constructed of pressure-treated lumber is important. So is keeping mulch and other potentially damp wood materials like a woodpile away from the foundation of your home.

The subterranean termites that live in Maryland and surrounding areas live in the soil – not in wood. This means they would have to tunnel in through a pier and beam foundation or creep up into wood siding on your home (if there is “wood to ground” contact). From there, they could make their way through the wood frame to reach your home interior. That’s a process that takes time, so you have the opportunity to catch them in the act before they get to your floor. Your wood flooring is at highest risk if:

• You already have a substantial infestation inside your home
• Flooding or a serious water leak has left a lot of moisture in your floor

Having an annual termite inspection is a very good idea to protect your investment in your home and in your wood floors. Next week, we’ll explore termites some more – including a surprising fact about unwanted “hitchhikers”.