Home Improvement with an Eye Toward Pest ControlSeptember 14, 2012 // Posted in:
There are many good reasons to undertake a home remodeling project. Remodeling can replace worn fixtures and inefficient appliances with greener, more aesthetically pleasing versions. Such improvements can raise a home’s resale value, or can make the home feel new again. Less frequently considered is that a home improvement project is an ideal time to schedule a termite inspection, and to take pest control measures.
Basement, foundation, and roof repairs are among the largest and most involved renovation projects. Regular professional inspections of these areas can avoid the frustration of undertaking a repair, only to discover that a larger, more expensive problem must be fixed first. These areas also need special attention for pest control, including an annual termite inspection. To keep insects from entering, make sure that the mortar and weather-stripping are intact along the home’s foundation. Apply caulk to any cracks found along the foundation. Pests enter attics and basements in search of shelter from the weather, and will nest in cardboard boxes. Nesting can be discouraged by storing items in sealed plastic containers and by using a dehumidifier.
Getting a new appliance doesn’t just mean to replace an older model with one that looks better, uses less energy, and has more features; it also means an opportunity for a good cleaning. Large appliances often accumulate debris that attracts pests, especially when appliances leak. Dampness can cause floor damage that requires further repair, and it can attract termites and silverfish. Make sure that appliances are free of leaks, and give them a good cleaning to be sure that there are no spiders or other pests hiding in them. Do the same with the electrical panel.
Plumbing repairs raise a home’s resale value, and renovation projects make a good excuse to replace aged plumbing fixtures and pipes. Even if the plumbing is in good shape, it won’t always be, so it makes sense to replace it while the rest of the house is already torn up. In the process, leaks that attract insects will be repaired, and cracks that allow insects entry will be sealed.
Air conditioning and heating units rarely get close inspection from homeowners, which is why they make ideal places for insects to hide. They also can leak, which can attract insects that cause damage far in excess of what it costs to inspect and maintain the units. Keep those units repaired now to avoid termite treatment later.
Replacement of doors, windows, and baseboards can reinvigorate a room, and can improve energy efficiency. These are also places that are prone to develop gaps and cracks that give pests access to the house. Make sure that all door and window seals are airtight, and that no moisture can get in. Weather-stripping can be inexpensive and easy to apply, and not only keeps bugs out, but also reduces energy costs and noise.
Laminate countertops can retain moisture as they get old. That’s why every homeowner needs to evaluate the condition of their countertop and determine if investing in granite countertops would be beneficial. Along with preventing moisture, drains must be cleaned and disinfected regularly, or they will draw ants and drain flies.
Attention to these details will pay off in savings on repair costs and in improved resale value. Be sure to conduct routine professional inspections, because serious damage can be easily caused by termites that have been devouring your home for an extended period of time.
Author Bio: Rose McMillan is an experienced pest control professional, turned freelance writer. She has worked with several reputable pest control companies in the past, but now seeks to share her knowledge with others in the blogging world. Sources: Terminix Pest Library.