Is this Termite damage?

Often, there will be damage to timber in our home that can get us worried, is it termites? We ask.

  Sometimes damage will look a lot like termite damage, especially on painted surfaces, but in reality is nothing more than fungal decay (wood rot). 

 

Sometimes damage will look a lot like termite damage, especially on painted surfaces, but in reality is nothing more than fungal decay (wood rot). 

No, it's only Wood rot.

Phew! I hear you say. Well, sort of.  

Although fungal decay might not eat your house out like termites, it's quite dangerous in its own right.

1) Fungal decay attracts termites.

Fungal decay needs moisture to survive, so a piece of moist decaying wood is an ideal food source for termites as it provides everything they need. It's almost like 2 great big golden arches advertising that there's food.....

2) Fungal decay destroys timber! 

Different fungi break down the timber in different ways, but ultimately they break down the cellulose and destroys the structural integrity of the timber, so it's important that this is prevented.

So how can we tell if it's fungal decay?

Well, there is usually no mudding or frass associated with fungal decay as termites leave a very distinct pattern where they have been and always work inside mud shelter tubes, so it's usually straightforward to determine if damage is from Termites. During our professional inspections, we also use devices to determine if there is any movement inside timber structures and behind walls, just in case there is any doubt.

 

Make sure that timber structures are kept dry, out of the ground and are also protected by sealing them. This avoids potential for fungal decay!

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