Termites. Whether they like it or not, termites are a real issue for residents of Memphis, Tennessee. No one wants a house with termites. And, no one wants to buy a home with structural damage.
Southern states located in what is known as the Bible Belt are privy to some of the worst termite infections annually. Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee are among the affected areas.
We buy houses in Tennessee. Selling a house with termites in Memphis requires following a series of actions, including pest inspections, informing potential buyers of previous or current infestations, and repairing the home after any termite damage.
Types of Termites Found in Tennessee Homes
Tennessee is one of several Southern states annually plagued, no pun intended, with termites. Due to heat and moisture, states like Tennessee make the perfect location for termites to swarm. Because of the higher temperatures, termites can be anticipated as early as February and as late as May each year.
Three of the most common termites one can experience in Tennesse are subterranean termites, dampwood termites, and formosan termites.
Subterranean termites are the most prevalent type of termites found in Tennessee. They are also capable of causing the most damage to homes, using wood, drywood, and paneling as their food source. Subterranean termites live in woods with high moisture like cedar and pine. These types of termites are known to be active around the clock.
Dampwood termites are another common type of termite found in Tennessee. This type of termite attacks moist and decaying types of wood. Unlike subterranean termites, dampwood termites are known to be larger termites. Dampwood termites can also be less dangerous if your home is void of moist and decaying wood such as stumps and an open water source.
Technically, formosan termites are a type of subterranean termite. However, formosan termites are known to populate at a significantly higher rate than subterranean termites. Formosan termites can grow a colony of over one million termites.
In contrast, subterranean termites are known to grow colonies of up to one or more thousands of termites. Like subterranean termites, formosan termites are very destructive.
Removing The Termites in Your House
The first step in removing the termites in your house is to acknowledge that the termites have made themselves welcome in your home. A termite inspection can help you determine if you have a termite problem. Searching for the presence of termites may be a hassle, but discovering them early is important. There are a few telltale signs that termites may have infested your home:
- Hollow wood and head-banging: Listen to your walls. Hollow wood will produce an empty or thudding sound. Termites will also make monotonous clicking sounds. This is how termites communicate. If you hear this sound through your walls, you may have termites.
- Mud tubes: Subterranean termites live up to their namesake. These termites thrive underground and in small tunnels, they create for themselves. To human eyes, these termite tunnels resemble mud tubes. If these mud tubes can be seen in or outside your home, you may have termites, or a new colony may have moved into your home.
- Swarms: Termites tend to swarm or gather. Termites are known to shed the wings off their backs in large piles after they swarm. Any evidence of swarming or shedding after swarming is a significant sign of infestation.
- Paint peeling: When termites attack the wood in your home, they can also begin to eat away at your home’s drywall. If this happens, moisture can reach the construction of walls resulting in peeling paint.
- Frass: Frass is another word for termite droppings. It is visual evidence that termites exist in your home.
- Live termites: Seeing is believing. If you physically see termites swarming around your home or lifeless workers termites lying around your home, you have termites.
Now that we know the sign of termites, what is the process of removing them?
Pest Control and Termite Control Experts
The fastest and most efficient way to remove the termites in your house is to call pest control. Pest control is the best option for termite removal because the experts have the leading chemicals like fipronil and hexaflumuron and products that can permanently kill and remove termites. These can be applied by an exterminator, or you apply them yourself.
Termite removers like termite baits and termite spray are chemical products that can be purchased in stores. Homeowners can then apply these chemical products to their own. The downside is that these solutions are generally less effective than professional services like pest and termite control. Some termite removers are:
- Termiticide Barriers: Termiticide is a spray that can treat the entire perimeter. Termiticide spreads from termite to termite. That is how it maintains its effectiveness. If a termite comes in contact with the termiticide, the chemicals in the termiticide will infect the termite and eventually kill it.
- Termite Baits: Termite baits are placed around the outside of the home. If termites are attracted to the area, the chemicals in the bait entice the termites. Termites are unwittingly affected by the poison of the bait. However, the bait does not kill the termites immediately. Termites take the poison back to the colony to spread like a disease.
- Boric Acid: Boric acid can be used singularly or found in many termite removers. The chemical can be sprayed anywhere termites are expected to be in your home. If the spray is activated, then the chemical compounds in the boric acid will slowly dry out the termites.
- Diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth can be bought at stores. Termites will be drawn to the powder and exterminated by dehydrating the termites from the inside out. This termite removal method requires that the powder be distributed in areas suspected of termite infestation.
Average Cost to Repair Termite Damage in Memphis
The average cost of termite treatment in Memphis, Tennessee, can be as low as $100.00 or as high as $750.00. Estimates include pest control labor, materials, equipment, and miscellaneous expenses such as cleanup fees and permits. Extreme damage and repair can cost between $3,000.00 and $4,000.00.
Repairing Your Termite Damaged Home
If you are selling a house that needs repairs, the first step in repairing your termite-damaged home is to seek professional help. After contacting an expert, you can formally gauge whether or not your home is termite-free and if there is a continued risk of infestation.
Next, the damage to the home will be assessed. A simple inspection can take care of this matter. Once the review is complete, the inspector will have adequate pricing information. Some damage can be minor and require fillings. In contrast, other damages can be substantial and require whole new walls or infrastructure.
This can be true when you have to sell a condemned house. If your house had a termite problem, but no longer does, then the history of termites will be noted on your inspection report.
Documenting Repairs on Your House
There is more than one way to document repairs on your house after termites. One way is to store and file all documentation related to your home repairs. This includes:
- Home inspections before and after repairs
- Bills and invoices from contractors
- The original termite report
Another way to document repairs after termite infestation is to obtain a termite report. The termite report will detail the issues before repair, the repairs themselves, and an analysis of the repairs and the remainder of the home in conjunction with the likelihood of another termite infestation.
Getting Termite Damage Warranty
Most pest and termite control companies like Orkin and Terminex offer termite damage warranties. Getting a termite damage warranty for your home is particularly useful when your home is located in a high-infestation area such as Memphis, TN.
Termite damage warranties are typically offered as one annual inspection. If termites are detected, then the home will be treated by the pest control company at no additional charge. Warranties do not typically cover repairs to the home caused by termites.
Get Your House Inspected
After termites, the final step in repairing your home is to get your house inspected. Home inspections after termite repairs provide another layer of protection and documentation when trying to sell.
Termites generally do not attack the whole home. They attack a specific area, and that area can spread. When termites are treated in one area of your home and repaired, inspections provide valuable insight on when, where, and if another termite infestation can be expected.
An inspection can also provide you as well as prospective buyers with the peace of mind you need as you continue in the house selling process.
Valuing Your Property Correctly After Termite Damage
The real estate market moves quickly. Termite damage and repair can significantly affect your home’s property and resell value when trying to sell your home. On average, a home’s value can decrease by 20%. If you have a cash offer, cash home buyers in Memphis can expect significant wins in the housing market. A cash buyer will also have an advantage over others when it comes to bidding on a home.
Being Honest with Potential Home Buyers
Being honest and upfront with potential home buyers about the history of your home is of the utmost importance. Potential home buyers have the right to ask for:
- Minor repairs
- Information about any termite activity and termite issues, including information about the extent of the damage done to the home.
- And a lower asking price depending on the state of the home and lack of repairs
Are You Ready to Sell Your House with Termites in Memphis?
Memphis, Tennessee, is an area greatly burdened by termites. If you find your home affected by termites but selling a house with termites in Memphis is a priority for you, you have options.
Whether by DIY or professional pest or termite control, termites can be removed from your home, including termiticides, boric acid, and other chemicals. You can also take some preventative measures to ensure your home will be protected from a new termite colony from forming. Depending on which removal method you decide on, the average cost of termite removal can range upwards of $700.00.
Once termites have been removed from your property, the real work begins. Like removal, repairs can be done through DIY or professional methods. After restoration, you should seek another home inspection, termite report, and termite damage warranty.
If you follow these steps, you can remove termites and repair your home for resell. However, it is essential to note that the value of your home can decrease by 20% even with termite removal and repair.