Our home is our castle – a place where we should feel safe and warm. However, sometimes life throws a curve ball, and the bricks and mortar of our sanctuary becomes threatened. Here are 3 things that can destroy your home.
They may be tiny, but insects can do dreadful damage to our property. The beloved Honeybee can enter your home through tiny gaps and build a honey-filled hive in the wall cavities of your home. The sheer weight of the nest can cause drywall to collapse. You must never attempt to kill the bees or move them yourself, call an expert who will use a special vacuum machine to remove them and take them to another hive.
Carpenter ants are the largest species of ant in the USA. They are known for their large mandibles which they use to chew their way through damp and decaying wood. These ants are drawn to homes with damp issues and will enter your home via unsealed pipes and wall gap and build nests. When carpenter ants build a nest, they will chew their way through the wood, and this is why they are a threat as they can weaken any wooden structures within your property. If you spot ants foraging for food, flying around your property or you notice piles of powdered wood in your property, look online for the Nextgen Pest Solutions Guide to Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants, or call a professional pest exterminator.
Termites may look similar to ants, but they are actually more closely related to cockroaches. There are over 2000 species of them and on average they grow to around half an inch in length. In the USA the most common species are the Eastern Subterranean termite, the Pacific Dampwood termite and the Southeastern Drywood termite. Termites require food such as the cellulose in wood, moisture and warmth in order to thrive and will be particularly drawn to wooden framed houses built in countries with a humid and warm climate. The tell-tale signs that you may have a termite infestation are discoloured or dry walls spotted with holes the size of pinheads, warped laminate flooring, hollow sounding walls when you knock on them, tiny channel-like patterns in future and floorboards, and exceptionally creaky floorboards.
Animals such as squirrels, mice, rats, birds, bats and raccoons can destroy the roof over your head. Rodents can chew through electrical wires (this can cause fires), timber and pipes. They are also carriers of diseases which can spread to humans. The bubonic plague was spread by rats.
Birds can build nests in your home. In springtime they will look for a suitable place to raise their young and unfortunately, this is often in the chimneys, soffits, or attics of people’s homes. The nest-building behaviour of the birds can cause damage to parts of your home’s structure as they will peck at wood, build their nest in grills, or the sheer weight of the nest and the birds can affect your property. Bird excrement is a hazard too as it can spread disease to humans. Psittacosis is a human inflammatory lung disease caused by exposure to birds and their droppings.
The weather is one thing we cannot control, and it can do untold damage to our homes. Strong winds can rip tiles from the roof, tear guttering down, or cause trees to fall down on top of our homes or crash through a window. Extreme winds such as hurricanes and tornados can rip the roof right off our home.
Cold weather can reap havoc with our home. Large hailstones can dent roof tiles or damage guttering. When guttering is damaged or blocked it means that rainwater cannot run off the roof properly and it runs into areas in the house it shouldn’t and leads to damp. Freezing winter temperatures may cause the water pipes in your home to freeze and burst, destroying floors and ceilings. Heavy snow sitting on the roof or guttering can cause cracking and when the snow melts, the water may enter the property through cracks and holes.
It’s not only cold weather that can do serious damage to you home – hot weather can cause problems too. Subsidence occurs when the damp, swollen ground on which a house is built, dries up and contracts during the hot summer months. Homes built on land with a high percentage of clay will sink into the ground. Leaking or burst pipes can also cause subsidence as they cause the soil to become too wet and soft.