Termite Damage vs Water Damage: How to Spot the Difference

by | Oct 28, 2022 | Water/Mold Damage

Termite damage vs water damage are often confused – they look somewhat similar, and both send off those screeching alarm bells. How much is it going to cost to fix? Will the termites wreak havoc on my home? Is it actually termites?

First things first, don’t panic! However, the first step is diagnosing the damage –  if you detect the damage sooner rather than later, then you’ll have a good chance of fixing it for good. This blog post will explain the difference between termite damage vs water damage, helping you decide which damage you have, and allowing you to take the appropriate action to get it fixed.

What does water damage look like?

Water damage is common in the home. It can be caused by a burst pipe, a leaking faucet, or a leak in your roof.

This type of leak/damage can appear in numerous ways. You may first notice a dripping noise, your home may smell damp, or you may discover a build-up of mold. These are all telltale signs of water damage.

If you’re looking for a roofing company in Lancaster, Kentucky, then contact the team at Jacob’s Ladder today for a quote.

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Flooding, slow leaks, and other water damage can happen more or less anywhere around the home. It’s important to check less used rooms and areas often (basements, lofts, and cellars) to ensure there’s no leaks.

If left unattended, water damage will only become worse, causing a build-up of mold, spores, and other harmful bacteria. It may also ruin furnishings if the water is not attended to.

How do you fix water damage?

Fixing water damage is usually rather easy. To get started, you need to find the source of the leak.

Often, this is a cause of following the noise until you find the problem.

Some leaks may be more difficult to find than others, but following the noise and checking all pipes, faucets, and other areas prone to leaking is a great place to start.

Next, it’s a case of fixing the leak. This could be as simple as tightening a bolt or pipe, or it could be more difficult and require some handy work. Either way, if you can determine the source of the leak, you can either fix the issue yourself or describe the problem you’re having to someone who can fix it.

What does termite damage look like?

Termites are known to leave damp-looking tracks. For this reason, often, termite damage is confused with water damage.

But if you notice damp wooden surfaces but no other signs of water damage (a dripping noise, a physical leak, or a musty smell), then you might have termites.

Termites target wood – they love wood with high moisture content and, once in your home, will begin causing havoc. These wood-munching insects can be difficult to spot, but the sooner you notice them, the better.

It’s a good idea to assess the damp wood, looking for signs of termite damage. Often, it’ll look like a build-up mold – there’ll be dark spots on the wood and damp marks where the termites have been.

How do you get rid of termites and termite damage?

There are numerous ways to kill termites, from insect sprays to bait stations and other handy products.

Ultimately, however, termites love feeding on damp wood with excess moisture. If you have damp wood in your home, this could be a sign of something more serious, such as dry rot. Once you’ve tackled your termite problem, it could be time to assess those wooden structures.

Water damage vs termite damage

Termites vs water damage can often seem confusing – how can you tell which one you have? A good rule of thumb is to check wooden surfaces and structures for signs of moisture, but also check for signs of running water or leaks.

And if you don’t know where to begin, or you need help with either a water or termite problem in Lancaster, Kentucky, then contact the team at Jacob’s Ladder.

FAQs

How long does it take for water to ruin wood?

If water is left unattended, it can begin to damage wood in as little as a few weeks. Although wood is pretty durable and capable of withstanding excess water, it cannot handle extreme flooding or excessive leaks for a long period of time.

How fast can termites destroy a house?

Termites can cause significant damage to your home in as little as a few months. And in a matter of a year or two, they could totally destroy your house.

How long does it take for water damage to show on wood floor?

It often takes upwards of ten days for water damage to show on a wooden floor. Often, the damage appears in the form of rot.

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