What Is the Difference Between Rotten Wood and Termite Damage?


When wood in your home decays, termites are often the first thought that comes to mind. Termites can cause severe damage to wood in homes since they feed on timber in order to survive. In the natural environment, termites feed on fallen logs and trees that are starting to die. Wet logs are preferred by termites since they are easier to eat. Termites are, therefore, often assumed to be synonymous with rotten wood. In reality, termite infestations and rotten wood are separate issues that you should understand how to distinguish.

Signs of Rotten Wood

Although building codes try to establish rules that reduce the chances of wood rotting in modern homes, wood decomposition is still a possibility for homes of any age. It is unusual for wood to rot without exposure to a source of water. Rotten wood can start to appear after a flood or a plumbing leak. Mold often forms when wood rots, and the presence of mold can cause your home to be declared uninhabitable. When you find wood that is softened and has a darker color than usual, it is almost certain to be rotten.

Signs of Termite Damage

Unlike with rotten wood, termites can appear at any time without a clear cause. Treated wood will kill termites before they can reproduce, but ordinary lumber used for building homes can be eaten by termites. One of the key signs of a termite infestation is piles of wings found on the floor near walls, furniture, or other household items made from wooden materials. You may also find holes in your wood that termites use to enter their nests.

Rotten Wood and Termites

Termites and rotten wood are often found together because termites prefer to consume wood that is soft and malleable. Modern home sealants are effective in most cases for keeping termites out of your house, but termites are often problematic with rotten wood that is kept outside. Untreated posts that are planted in the ground can start to rot over time, and then they can become targets for termites. Termites that target rotten wood can become a serious problem because they will move on to healthy wood once they have consumed the rotten portions of a board.

Repairing Damaged Wood

If you have termite problems in your home, taking immediate action is critical. Termite problems will compound as larvae hatch to start eating away at your home. When termites are left unaddressed, it is possible for the frame of your entire home to eventually be consumed by these pests. Rotten wood should also be repaired since it can cause structural damage and lead to the possibility of a termite infestation. Professional services can help you to manage termite infestations and rotten wood in an effective way, so contact Midwestern Termite & Pest Control today to speak to one of our pest professionals.

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