Termite Damage In Hardwood Floors – What To Do [The Best Guidance]

Termites, as we all know, are well-known wood-boring insects. However, I did not notice them until they caused significant damage. For years, termite colonies ate my hardwood floor, making it visible and weak in infested areas.

Are you facing the same issue? If so, I am glad to share with you my experience in coping with this situation.

After testing some methods from many posts on the Internet about termite damage in hardwood floors – what to do, I got some useful tips for you!

What Are Signs Of Termites In Wood Floors

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Signs of termites in hardwood floors (Source)

Termites, commonly known as the silent destroyer, often eat decaying wood from the inside. Though it’s not easy to recognize its presence, there are some indicators that can help you identify whether your house has a termite infestation or not. Let’s go through some signs below:

Swarmers

Termite swarmers are drawn to light sources like bulbs or lamps in the house. They usually shed their wings after a period. As a result, if you see fallen swarmer wings around your area, termites may have already attacked your house.

Mud Tubes

Another sign of termites is mud tubes, which may appear on the ground near your house or some potential food sources, such as trees or sheds. It’s because subterranean termites build their nest beneath and forage for their food supply.

These termites require specific temperatures and humidity conditions to survive. Their tunnels serve to block off chilly, dry air, turning your house into a breeding ground for them.

Frass

Termite frass can be found at near-wall gaps, where termites utilize as escapes. Every frass pellet measures about 1/32 inch in length and has a pointed end.

Hollow Sound

If you tap your hardwood floor and hear some hollow sounds, it might be a sign of termite damage. This sound is produced by the holes that termites bore into the wood.

Hollowed and Damaged Wood

From my experience, this may be the most visible signal. You can easily find the wood damage beneath and behind the floor, walls, and other surfaces. Normally, termites eat into the wood to hunt cellulose, leaving lengthy grooves behind. These holes weaken the timber and cause structural problems over time. 

Also read: How To Clean Old Damaged Wood Floors? A Thorough Guide For You

Termite Damage In Hardwood Floors – What To Do To Fix It? 

Get Rid Of Termites On The Hardwood Floor

Before you begin fixing your damaged hardwood floor, you must first get rid of all termites. The good news is that if you find them as soon as possible, you will be able to solve the problem much more easily. Here are some ways you can try:

  • Poisoned bait: All you have to do is place the bait around your house, especially at the colony’s entry/exit locations. The stakes appear after the termite eats the bait, and they also serve as a termite detecting mechanism. The bait will be returned to the colony, where it will spread the poison.
  • Liquid barriers: This method not only kills termites in your home but also serves as a preventative measure. The liquid works by surrounding your house with a chemical barrier that poisons termites upon contact.
  • Acid boric: In my experience, this is the most effective insecticide when compared to others. After interaction with an exposed termite, it takes 3 to 7 days for the termite to die. 

Fix The Damaged Hardwood Floor With Three Simple Steps

Step 1: Remove the Damaged Piece of Wood

To remove the damaged piece of wood, you can use a circular saw, but a chisel and mallet would be preferable to avoid damaging the floor. 

First off, you have to chisel off the center of the damaged wood piece. Then, carefully investigate the wood’s edge where you will find nails. After you finish removing most of the damaged pieces, continue to clear the remaining wood with a tiny crowbar.

Next, remove the tongue on the adjacent piece of flooring using your chisel. This will enable you to replace the new piece much more easily.

Step 2: Place your New Piece of Wood

It is time to put your new piece of wood close to the spot where the damaged one was. Make a pencil mark where you’ll have to cut. Because we needed a precise fit for this repair, it’s better to cut the new piece a little longer and file it down.

Step 3: Finishing

Once you’ve got a satisfactory fit, use finishing nails to secure the new piece. To cover the nails, you’ll need a tiny quantity of putty. 

That’s it! You’ve got a simple guide on fixing the damaged hardwood floor! 

Note: If the damage is not too large, you might fill up the damaged areas rather than replacing the entire hardwood piece. In this case, you just need a putty knife and wood filler to do this. Simply put the filler into the hollowed-out areas of the wood with the knife, then let it cure overnight.

The Verdict

Termite damage in hardwood floors – What to do if it happens? Use poisoned bait, liquid barriers, or acid boric? To my preference, I would love to choose the last option as it works every time!

But remember prevention is always better than cure. Take notice of any unexplained floor damage, even the swarmer wings or the mud tubes, and get rid of the termite as soon as possible. 

If you have any concerns, leave them in the comment box below. Good luck!

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