Building Repairs in White Rock, BC

Eradication of these fellows is by poison injected into the soil or substrate they use to go about their business. Unfortunately, there is no other expedient alternative as subterranean termites and wood-framed buildings cannot coexist peacefully. As mentioned, the likelihood of such infestations is proportional to proximity to their more natural habitat, areas containing their chosen fodder: wood, preferably rotting wood. Buildings adjacent such natural settings should be inspected much more regularly than those in urban settings. This is all the more important because failing inspection, it is unlikely these secretive, hard-working critters will be noticed otherwise. Usually they are only discovered while some other building-failure issue is being investigated.

Both ants and termites stage an exodus one or more times a year when members take to the sky in pursuit of new terrain and other opportunities, often in great clumps as they emerge from the hive area. Both being clumsy fliers, they are readily noticed, serving as a reminder that they are in the area, so be wary, and inspect rurally-located buildings all the more regularly. It seems to be true in general that catching problems earlier rather than later is better because presumably they’ll be smaller then.

It is useful and important to note that of the several kinds of animals mentioned here—with the exception, perhaps, of the subterranean termite—these animals are often, if not usually, inadvertently drawn to the site where there destructive tendencies make themselves known. These same tendencies are the very ones that keep these animals alive to perform the generally useful work they do in nature. We will typically only notice their behaviours as deleterious when they invade our buildings. That unnoticed or ignored small leak that creates the (to cellulose loving insects) delicious odour of decaying wood creates an attractant.  That unprotected compost bin is not a collection of cast offs we would prefer not to eat, but is instead, an enticing banquet of delicacies fit for rats, skunks, racoons and many other hungry diners.

We generally applaud people when they manage to take advantage of an opportunity, but are obviously much less likely to do so when an unwanted animal does the same in a way that affects us negatively. Racoons are a very good example of us unintentionally inviting pests over to visit. When encountered near homes and other buildings, instead of running away at the sight of humans, racoons regularly assume begging postures—a sure sign they are habituated to being fed by people. Other destructive animals such as skunks and rats are in this class of opportunists, also. Good property maintenance and general cleanliness will find these animals moving on to better pastures. As sound advice for keeping buildings sound—and this thinking is increasingly found in by-law ordinances—never feed wild animals no matter how interesting or cute they are; there will always be a downside, and the question is not if, but when.

While conducting the regular roof inspection recommended earlier, look also for loose siding or joints elsewhere, especially where found close to grade. Siding bases, for instance, must be tight up against concrete foundation walls to discourage ingress. While inspecting for animal intrusions, keep in mind that almost every organism will do as little as possible to survive, so if food and comfortable lodging can be found close together, why move on? As always, the sooner we have notice of a problem, the easier it will be to solve it, and this goes for unwanted houseguests as well.

In the main, no one interested in a building’s well-being hopes for the opportunity to repair it. But, of course, it happens, and if there is any upside to the building repair process at all, it is this: a structural repair is an opportunity to improve an existing structure, perhaps in some small way only, but possibly in a dramatic way. This might sound a bit of a quirky idea to some, pulling a plus from the fire of chaos, but almost any building can be improved to suit its users better. Among many possibilities, installing a window where there wasn’t one before can contribute light, ventilation while adding mood and interest to buildings. Keeping this “quirky” approach in mind, it is conceivable that a perfect repair will leave one with exactly what one had prior, and somewhere down the road, perhaps long after the initial sting of cost and inconvenience has subsided, that same someone might conclude that they now have exactly what they had before the repair, minus the expenditure of time and money and inconvenience. But it is conceivable also that an improvement—an enhancement in the course of that repair—might even make the headache of the fix seem worthwhile eventually.