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How to Prevent Termite Damage in Long Beach Rental Properties


One of the most serious concerns for rental property owners is termite damage, especially in termite-prone areas like Long Beach, California. Often called “silent destroyers”, the termites can cause extensive damage to the rental properties before even the landlords realize their presence. 


That is why landlords and property managers must take proactive steps and measures to prevent infestations and decrease damage to protect their investments. The goal should be to ensure tenants' safety and satisfaction and preserve the rental property's value. In this text, we will outline how termite damage can be prevented. 


What You Need to Know About the Threat of Termites 


Here is a pretty astounding fact: termites are responsible for billions of dollars in property damage annually in the United States. Usually, this damage is not typically covered by homeowners’ or landlord's insurance, and the financial burden of covering the costs of repairs falls on the shoulders of property owners. 


Since termites feed on wood paper and other cellulose materials, they destroy the property's structural integrity but immediate visible signs of termite damage can’t be seen. This could be a severe problem if the issues are not spotted immediately, so knowing how to look for termite damage can save landlords lots of money otherwise spent on repair costs. 


Signs of Termite Infestation 


The key to preventing extensive damage is early detection of termite infestation. They are usually revealed while inspecting the rental property and checking for maintenance repairs. The common signs are as follows. 


  • Termites build mud tubes to travel between their nests and food sources. They are pencil-thin and usually found along foundation walls and other surfaces. 

  • Termites eat wood from the inside out and leave it hollow or damaged. That means that the damage is not visible immediately, so you would need to tap on the wood and figure out if it sounds hollow or crumbles easily. If yes, infestation is probably what is happening. 

  • Termites are insects that shed their wings after swarming. If you find a pile of discarded wings, you can be sure there is a sign of termite activity, especially near windows, doors, or other entry points. 

  • When termite damage becomes severe, it affects the structural integrity of the floors and causes them to buckle or sag. If you see such damage, then you need to take action as soon as possible. 

  • When termites push mud and waste materials through the tiny holes when moving, it causes the paint to bubble or crack. 

  • Termites will cause door frames and window seals to warp and be difficult to open and close. 

  • If you see small pellet-like droppings near entry points or in infested food, that is a clear sign of active termites. 

  • Finally, during swarming, you might even be able to see winged termites emerging. This is a great indicator that there is a colony of termites nearby. 


Termite Damage vs Wood Rot 


Now, we need to distinguish between termite damage and wood rot, as the two issues are different. You need to set an accurate diagnosis so appropriate treatment can be put in place. While wood rot is caused by fungi that thrive in moist conditions, termite damage results in hollowed-out wood. With wood rot, the wood becomes spongy or crumbly, and with termite damage, there are mud tubes or fresh wood visible. 


Prevention Strategies for Rental Properties 


Having seen the signs of termite damage, the landlord or property manager must act fast to prevent further damage to the properties. However, one solution will not stop the termites from damaging the structural integrity of the rental property. It requires an approach with more segments. 


Regular Inspections and Maintenance 


The first segment is scheduling regular inspections by licensed pest control professionals like Pest Service Direct, to inspect the property regularly. Such professionals can ensure that minor issues won’t become major problems. Next, proper ventilation should be maintained and the crawl spaces and basements should be well-ventilated. If there is moisture, you need to fix plumbing leaks, roof leaks, and drainage problems to eliminate moisture sources. 


Moreover, wood should be kept away from soil as termites can easily dock through the wood from the ground. The next thing to do is trim trees and bushes and use termite-resistant materials when renovating, like pressure-treated wood and termite-resistant insulation. You can also consider installing physical barriers like termite shields or stainless steel mesh around the entry points or applying chemical treatments as a preventive measure. 


Tenant Education and Involvement 


Another way to prevent termite damage is by educating tenants about how they can help. You must encourage tenants to report any signs of termite activity and tell them how to spot early termite infestation. To do so, regular communication and transparency must be established between landlords, property managers, and tenants. 


The Role of Property Managers 


Property management companies like Concept 360 Property Management can do wonders for termite prevention. One of their responsibilities is to schedule inspections, arrange repairs, and ensure preventive measures are in place. Their knowledge and experience can significantly impact the whole process. They can:


  • Coordinate inspections and maintenance to identify and address potential termite issues, and they can work with pest control professionals to ensure the property is protected. 

  • Educate tenants about the signs of early termite activity and what they need to do to address this issue promptly. 

  • Implement preventive measures, such as installing physical barriers or applying chemical treatments, to minimize the risk of termite infestations. 

  • Respond to infestations by acting quickly and coordinating with pest control professionals. They can also handle necessary repairs and fix the damage. 


Special Considerations for Long Beach, California 


Long Beach's climate makes it very easy for termites to cause problems, especially subterranean termites. The mild, humid weather conditions act as an ideal environment for termites to thrive. For that purpose, property managers and landlords in Long Beach must be proactive all the time. 


The first thing property managers should do is familiarize themselves with Long Beach-specific regulations regarding pest control and management and ensure legal compliance. 


The next thing to do is to choose the local pest control professionals like Pest Service Direct as local professionals will have a better understanding of the specific challenges when it comes to termite species prevalent in the region. 


How to Handle Termite Damage 


The best way is to get insurance to cover termite damage, but it is quite challenging as most policies do not include it.  However, there are cases when termite damage is part of a broader claim, for example, water damage leading to termite infestations, so such coverage might be applicable. Either way, property owners should consult their insurance providers for specific details on how to get insurance to cover termite damage. 


How to Fix Termite Damage 


In cases when there is termite damage done, fixing should consist of the following steps: 

  • Assessing the damage 

  • Removing damaged wood 

  • Treating the area with termiticides 

  • Rebuild and reinforce with termite-resistant materials 

  • Implementing preventive measures 


Conclusion 


Landlords and property managers are responsible for preventing termite damage in rental properties. In Long Beach, termite activity is quite common since the weather conditions and climate can transform it into a severe headache. Implementing regular inspections and maintaining proper ventilation and moisture control can prevent termite infestation. 


Property managers play a crucial role in coordinating this effort, and they ensure that preventive measures are put in place. With the collaboration between property management and local pest control professionals, landlords can protect their properties, safeguard their investments, and provide a comfortable living environment for their tenants.

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