All posts in “foundation”

Concrete walls

Concrete walls

Concrete walls

 

Concrete walls, can be a termite walkway right into the house. Termites are amazing and they can show up in places I can only imagine. How they find holes in concrete and then pop up is just a amazing fact of these little girls? We service a set of building at Frank Lloyd Wright and the walls are made of Coquina rock and there are spaces throughout. The termites are very crafty and they will find any crack in the rock or concrete. Typically when homes are built these days, there is a gap as to where the stucco is so that helps a lot. Not so long ago the stucco went right into the dirt and you might not see the termites until they were in the house. So what do you look for with termites or even water damage:

  1. Mud tubes.
  2. Any signs of baseboard cracking, it looks like your fingers are bunched together.
  3. Signs of tunes hanging down from ceiling or mud tubes on the wall.
  4. Any wood damage – check for the presence of mud/dirt = sure sign of termites.
  5. In Arizona we have grass eating termites.
  6. Sheds should be on concrete or raised and sometimes that isn’t enough. So check those out buildings as well.
  7. And if there is any questions – call ProBest 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

If you have pictures you can send them to us, just call and we will give you the number. or send them to service@callprobest.com

Thank you for your business past and future.

Remove term: Hot Water Tank stand Hot Water Tank stand

Hot Water Tank stand

Hot Water Tank stand

The Hot Water Tank stand or just plain tank is usually in your garage, probably in a corner or maybe just inside your home. Depending on where it is, there could be a stand that it sits on. Sometimes the pipes come up through the slab and termites find there way in. Or there could be a crack where they sneak in. The bad thing about this area is that it is not visible and as in this case. the termites went straight up. They were noticed at the ceiling during an inspection. After doing some investigative work we put a hole in that box stand and found where they were coming up.

The job of inspector is almost a detective case, where do you look and what do you expect to find? Generally speaking Sub termites, go with the grain while Drywood termites cut across the grain. So when subs go up the wood, they hit another 2×4 and go with the grain. Then then attempt to come down and that is why you get notice a tube hanging down from the ceiling.  Our Arizona sub termites tend to do this often and is usually why we get the call about termites. Call ProBest if you signs similar to this 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176.

Cricket Poo

Cricket Poo can be mistaken for termite activity. Cricket mess under a hand lens appear to have sharp jagged edges. Often black in color while termites use soil and water which when mixed in their poo, used to build tunnels and tubes. I see this kind of activity inside garages on the foundation step up and along foundations outside homes. Termites construct their tunnels over surfaces such as slabs and drywall or 2x4s in homes.

People mistake lots of things as termites, I get calls on Mud dauber soil nest, They build these almost ball looking things which they then pack with incapacitated spiders and then lay their eggs inside. When the egg hatches the little baby larva eats the paralyzed spiders. Termites build little tunnels or tubes about the size of pencils and the little girls make their way throughout these tubes to contain moisture. The arch enemies of termites are ants and they fight if they interact. But you really don’t need either of these two on your property.

If you run into something and you don’t know what it is, call us 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176 or send us a picture at service@callprobest.com

Water diverter

One of the home improvements you can do to your house is to add Water diverter to any pvc running from ac units. This diverter takes water away from the treated zone and allows the termiticide to stay where it is put. One of the keys to termite work is putting the termiticide to the place where the termites will go through it. If water is constatly running through it, it will over time diminish the effectiveness.

This device isn’t in the best of places, but is able to divert some water away. The sidewalk somewhat blocks the pipe from extending far enough away. But this device can help and does.

So here is my theory on longevity of termiticides in Arizona. Under concrete I believe Termidor can last up to 15 years and if it is on the outside of home I cut that rate in half to 5 -7 years. Now anything can cause this to break sooner, something under the slab such as rocks, paper or anything left over from construction.

Shower Pan

The Shower pan is technically that device which keeps the water from going everywhere. The bathtrap area is the area in the picture with the pipes letting the water go to the plumbing and out of the house.

Now visualize the termite people coming out to spray under the slab before its poured. That show box size area is higher with dirt and when the plumbers come in to finish they take away dirt. They also take away any trace of liquid termiticide and therefore = termites.

See the termite tube in the right side of the hole, that is how all the damage occurred. Inspect, investigate and then solve the problem. In this case impossible to see the shower pan so a surprise happens. Call ProBest for an inspection today 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

Carpet & termites

You return home from vacation and there it is Carpet & termites. Now what do you do, call ProBest Pest Management of course 480-831-9328. This is a result of a crack in the foundation and the termites found their way into the home and through the carpet.

Easy fix for a termite company, take up the carpet and treat the crack in the slab. Termiticide does fail and once that crack begins to expand it moves the barrier treatment. So don’t just look around the foundation edge of the house or the ceiling, if you spot something like this connect immediately so we can assess the root cause.

If you ever decide to take up carpet and replace with tile or wood and you find cracks in the slab, call us. It is easier to fix the problem before the time is in place, never looks the same.

Foundation termite tube

Foundation termite tube on the house can be the surest signs of termites. I can spot those things from the road while driving (safely). So besides this obvious sign what else do you look for:

Baseboard – I hold up my first 3 fingers like the Boy Scout sign, now mush them together. The wood being eaten from the inside buckles, after the termites are gone the wood will dry out and actually get worse. Yes it’s time to replace baseboard. If you find damage here check outside as there is probably a Foundation termite tube.

Down tubes – can appear anywhere and drop from any ceiling. Typically on a one story house – the ceiling. 2 story home again usually the ceiling first floor, why you ask. When Subterranean termites hit the ceiling wood beams there is generally a header and they follow the grain of the wood. Usually I find termites on the 1st floor ceiling rather the 2nd floor ceiling.

Corner checks for termites

Foundation corner may contain surprises

Corner and indents may hide termite activity and the jtrim may also have huge openings. It is important to check your slab and house at least monthly for unwanted pests activity. This may help to avert any potential long lasting problems. If you don’t check often you might allow a bee colony to take over. That can bee a sticky problem down the road.

I find that most people stack stuff against garage walls and this allows a termite issue to go on a very long time. For some reason I think the garage is the most overlooked and usually the last to be treated by termite companies. Don’t place wood or cellulose items on the garage expansion joint. I’ve found books, posters and antiques full of termite activity and ruined forever.

corner

Tiny Termite House project

Tiny Termite House – coming soon March 2018

Tiny Termite House – The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) commissioned a third-party group.  Their plan is to research and build a real tiny version of a typical house. They hope to see how termites deal with structures and hopefully see it in real life.

The group is set to dump 500,000 Formosan termites into a custom, built-to-scale, miniature dream home and capture them at work utilizing a mix of high-definition video footage and photography. “This project is a really exciting one for our industry because we will be using sophisticated equipment to obtain never-before-seen footage of termites and glean more insight into the important roles that termite castes play in eating their way through homes,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “The consumer education aspect of this project is huge. Our goal is to physically demonstrate the hidden dangers that these wood-destroying insects pose to consumers’ biggest investments, and hit home the importance of regular prevention and professional inspection.”

Stay tuned for Termite Awareness Week – March 11-17, 2018

Tiny Termite House

 

 

 

Tubes, tubes more tubes

Tubes, yes Termite activity.

Tubes – those amazing termites in Arizona can build some unique are artful looking down tubes. OK maybe not your cup of tea but isn’t artistic, that is without all the damage they do. I have seen them in a garage that was over 5 feet in length, been there for some time. These little gals work 24/7/365, looking for wood and ready to chomp through the house.

Look for these telltale clues, tunnels on the foundation slab, marks that look like dirt tubes on the wall and those that hang down from the ceiling. Don’t Panic and yes it is time to call a Pest Management Professional. Most houses will eventually get them and if you see drill mark or previous treatment signs it usually doesn’t means that it’s a bad thing. I personally think it’s a good thing, the  issue was found and handled. I would worry more about the house that was never treated and continued to be eaten away by termites.

By the way, in my opinion not a DIY (Do It Yourself) job. You need a true Professional, remember it’s not always about the equipment it’s about the KNOWLEDGE. You need an expert who has the knowledge, equipment and expertise to do a Professional job.

I suggest a monthly check of your home especially if you live in the southern U.S. Never hurts to check for termites, honeybees or anything that might later cause problems or issues.

tubes     tubes

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