Selling a home with termite damage: What you need to know

Once you know you have termite damage, you have two choices if you don’t want your home to fall into disrepair: selling a house with termite history or treat and repair it. And, the process for exterminating termites and restoring the structural integrity of your home is long and involved. Depending on the extent of your home’s damage, you might want to consider selling your house as is to a cash buyer and saving yourself the hassle of initial and ongoing treatments, repairs and inspections.

Pest control experts aren’t cheap dates, with the average termite treatments costing about $650-1200 and the repair costing three times that or much more, depending on the extent of the damage. If you choose to repair your home, first, you’ll write a check to a pest control expert for the initial treatment. On top of that, add the cost of subsequent annual inspections and treatments to make sure they don’t come back.

Repair is more involved. Compromised sill plates, floor joists interior walls and ceiling trusses will have to be replaced or bolstered—an expert will be able to determine whether it’s safer to bolster the existing wood with support piers or replace the wood entirely. This process is long and involved and will likely require much structural repair, which may require you to employ a structural engineer.

If your home has termite damage, here’s what you need to know:

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are the most common termite in the St. Louis area. They usually live in loose, wet soil and use wooden parts of your house that touch the ground as entrypoints (i.e., porches, wooden walls, decks). These are the kinds of colonies that create the mud tunnels made of soil, feces and saliva. Nationally, subterranean termites cause millions of dollars annually in damage.

Signs of Termite Damage

In our experience, termite damage is typically very hard to spot until your home has suffered significant damage. Termite damage typically manifests itself in what appears like water damage and smells like mold. Ceilings and walls can bulge or buckle, seemingly under the weight of water. It is helpful to knock on wood furniture, flooring and walls to listen for a hollow sound if you suspect a termite infestation. If you spot discarded wings or mud tunnels, however, you can be pretty sure you have visitors.

Because termite damage can often be hard to detect, once you do spot it, the damage can often be severe. Beyond the health risk associated with termites, they can cause serious structural damage to your home that can be difficult to reverse. The extermination and repair process can be hard. Over the years, we’ve gotten many “I need to sell my termite damaged home” calls. We understand your frustrations, and we’d love to take your house with termite history off your hands.

Give us a call and let’s see what we can do to help you through this.