What’s the biggest threat to your home?

By KRISTI BAILEY

Last weeks tremors from the earthquake centered in North Carolina got me thinking about things that threaten our homes. With earthquakes happening only a couple time a year and usually less than 2.0 on the Richter Scale, they are far from your biggest threat here in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

As odd as it may sound, the biggest threat to our homes is not a natural disaster at all. That dubious distinction goes to the common termite. The National Pest Management Foundation says they caused an estimated $5 billion in property damage a year in the United States.

Termites are called the “silent destroyers” because when you see infestation signs, they have already been silently eating on your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is why preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure they do not eat a chunk of your investment, literally. Termites may take up residence in a home for years before they are noticed. An average subterranean termite colony can consume a two-by-four stud per year. Older homes that are more likely to have cracks in the foundation are especially prone to risk. New homes are not immune if pretreatments during construction are not done correctly. When that happens termite, swarms can take hold was quickly as five years.

For a buyer, a termite inspection is insurance against the unexpected. Buyers should also check to see if the sellers already have a termite protection program in place – many do.

For homeowners, inspections and preventative maintenance are essential steps to ensure the safety and value of a home and its resale value. Many choose the annual pest control protection against uninvited guests as a good time the check for signs of termites.

Here is a checklist to help homeowners keep critters at bay:

  • Eliminate standing water.
  • Keep tree branches cut back.
  • Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house.
  • Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.

You can find more information about termites, pest control, and other items of interest to homeowners at HouseLogic.com.  It is a consumer service of local and national REALTORS® intended to demonstrate that homeowner-REALTOR® relationship extends beyond just buying and selling real estate.    

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,200 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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