The U.S. is home to several types of termites with varying ranges and habits, so chances are your area has termites just waiting to invade your house. Other than keeping chemical termite treatments up to date, what can you do to avoid them?
Some common sense rules apply, such as not keeping any untreated wood near your house (you should keep brush piles and firewood at least 20 feet away). But you should also focus on keeping your house well-maintained, since neglect and damage can often make the situation more desirable to termites.
Discover three roof problems that can encourage termites and damage your roof’s integrity that you should avoid.
- Water Damage From Leaks
Leaks don’t just damage your roof. They can also let water seep down through the walls, causing rot around windows or water spots on your ceiling. And anywhere the leak touches wood, it creates an environment that’s great for termites and mold but not so great for humans.
This means a roof leak can encourage termites anywhere in the house, not just in your attic. And once termites have infested, they can quickly expand their tunnels throughout the home.
- Missing Flashing
Flashing doesn’t just keep water out. Sometimes, it also covers exposed wood. In addition to protecting this wood from rain, flashing can help exclude insects such as termites. If the flashing is missing or pulled out of place, the wood will be exposed again. This will allow the wood to become damaged from water, making it an even easier target for termites.
You might have heard that you should avoid having untreated wood exposed to the outside because it can give termites a way in. But even if the wood used to construct your roof was pressure treated with chemicals to prevent termites, the chemicals may wear off after a few years. So you have to assume that any wet, unfinished wood surface will attract pests.
- Insufficient Ventilation
Ventilation is critical to roof health. In fact, without good ventilation, the roof won’t just get super hot; it’ll also likely suffer from water damage even if it doesn’t leak. That’s because the hot air will allow moisture to condense out onto the roof deck, which is typically made of OSB board or plywood.
These decking types are both sensitive to water damage. And the water that soaks into the roof deck and rafters will make them look like a yummy snack for any termites in the area.
Check your attic ventilation to make sure the soffit and the ridge or gable vents are unobstructed. Attic insulation or stored items can easily block soffit vents, and cobwebs can clog up gable vents. Even if the vents are unblocked, you should also check for signs of condensation in case your vents are too small.
Signs of a condensation problem include watermarks or mildew on the underside of the sheathing, frosty or rusted nails, and compressed insulation or insulation that looks like it’s been dripped on (this may give it a slightly pockmarked appearance).
These three roof problems demonstrate how any damage to your roof can cause further damage and complications by attracting pests, such as termites. Other complications of these types of roof damage can include mold and mildew, rot, ruined insulation, shortened shingle life, and water-damaged belongings.
Even a seemingly insignificant problem like insufficient vents needs to be taken care of right away if you want to avoid bigger, more expensive problems like termite damage. You should keep your roof in good shape by performing regular maintenance and having professional inspections and prompt repairs.
For more information about how we can help you with maintenance and repairs, call Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling Inc today.