Preserve Wood Windows With Pest Inspections

Preserve Wood Windows With Pest Inspections

There are certain words homeowners never want to hear. These include “You’ve got termites,” and “You’ve got carpenter ants.” Here’s how to avoid needing wood window repair caused by such infestations, and how to spot if you already have problems.

Both carpenter ants and termites enter structures through the tiniest openings. Termites seek cracks in construction joints, retaining wall joints, floor cracks larger than 1/16 inch, plumbing, electrical, and slab intrusions, or they simply build tunnels from the ground to the wood parts of your home. Keep wood piles away from the home, and don’t let branches touch the house. Inspection and thorough caulking are good preventative measures.

Carpenter ants are attracted to sweets, meat, grease and fat. They are most active at night and can be seen foraging inside the home.

Signs of either pest may be noticed first on window sills. Tiny little pyramids or piles of fine debris will become apparent. With carpenter ants, the debris may be near a slit they chewed in the wood window frame or a baseboard. You must act immediately if you see such signs, as unseen damage is almost certain. Removing the exterior wood frame may reveal voids in the underlying wood, especially if dry rot is also present. While you can cut away the voids so that only sound wood is left, and fill the voids with insecticides, wood hardeners and expandable foam, you aren’t killing the colony. And you aren’t addressing unseen damage, which grows quickly.

Have an inspection by a pest control company for preventative measures. Don’t clean window sills prior to inspection. If you have an infestation, get three bids. Historic homes are particularly vulnerable to these type of infestation attacks. You can avoid wood window repair with this crucial “ounce of prevention”; just don’t put it off or else the alternative is much more costly.