Most people aren’t too fond of bugs. And Atlanta has plenty of them. As far as your home goes, one of the more destructive bugs out there is the termite. Termites can wreak havoc on your house. Yikes. So, what if termites take up residence in your home? Does home insurance cover termite damage?
We’ll answer this question, explain how to prevent a buggy nightmare, and tell you some signs of termite infestation below.
Does home insurance cover termite damage?
Unfortunately, the answer to that is most likely no, homeowners insurance will not cover termite damage.
There’s a reason:
Home insurance is intended to protect your home from sudden and accidental loss – for example, a fire. It’s not meant to cover maintenance issues or “preventable” gradual losses…and unfortunately, termite damage fits the bill of “not covered.”
Something to know about termites:
It’s important to spot the signs and protect your home before the damage gets too bad. You need to be on the alert. Termite damage can be severe and can even cause structural damage to your home.
And that leads us to our next topic of joyous, bug-related discussion.
How can I prevent termite damage to my home?
It’s important to be on the alert for termite damage and catch it early on.
Termites actually swarm – meaning, fly from their former colony to descend on a new place. The swarmers strike in summer typically, so you should pay attention to any signs of termites in your area. So, if you see creepy-crawlies coming out of wood or soil, be on the alert. You also might notice wings from termites around windowsills and doors.
Anyways, keep your eyes out for wood that looks blistered, wood that soft when you touch it, or wood that sounds curiously hollow when tapped.
Now, we say all that not to gross you out – yes, termites can fly – but to explain that now is the time to fortify your home.
Here’s how to do that:
1. Take away the termites’ food and water.
Make sure your home isn’t a termite buffet by…
- Placing firewood at least 20 feet from your home
- Leaving a 6-inch gap between mulch or soil and wooden pieces of the house (mulch attracts them because it retains moisture.)
- Making sure wooden siding is 6 inches above ground.
- Angling sprinklers away from the foundation
2. Don’t bring home wood.
Don’t bring wood or lumber to your home unless it’s been specially treated to deter termites.
3. Take care of moisture problems.
It’s important to take care of moisture problems around the house – particularly in the attic or basement crawlspace. Repair any leaks from air conditioning pipes, gutters, or plumbing.
4. Fix any possible “doors.”
You’ve got to fill in or fix any cracks in your home’s foundation to prevent any unwanted guests from moving in.
5. Prevent moisture from accumulating along your home’s foundation.
Termites love moisture. Make sure the ground or landscaping slopes away from your house, your sprinklers point away from the house and your downspouts are arranged properly. Fix any leaks that could be causing a buildup of moisture.
The signs of termite damage
It’s important to recognize termite damage so that you can call in professional pest control folks early on. The sooner you catch the infestation, the better.
Here are some warning signs:
- Wood that looks blistered
- Wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it
- Wood that feels soft
- Decimated wood
- Termite droppings
- Wings that look like scales
- Mud tubes along the side of the house
- Airborne termites
It’s generally a good idea to have a termite inspection once a year. That way you can catch a termite disaster before it gets out of control.
So that’s the scoop about termites. Unfortunately, termite damage is not typically covered by home insurance. However, there are steps you can take to prevent a termite infestation. Be sure to keep your home safe from this many-legged peril.
Looking to save money on home insurance? We would be happy to help with that. Our team of home insurance agents can help you shop so you get the best coverage at the best possible rate. To get in touch with our team, all you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call.