Very few things can damage your home as severely as the unchecked spread of termites. Swarms of these tiny insects are drawn to anything that contains wood, including the framing and sheathing materials that form the backbone of your valuable roof. A termite colony can seriously weaken these materials, and in extreme cases it can even cause enough damage to trigger a complete roof collapse. In the aftermath of a termite infestation or other forms of significant wood damage, call the roofing experts at Tom Byer Roofing Service. With more than six decades of experience in affordable damage repair, we have the skills you need to restore the health of your roof and protect your home investment.
Termite Species Responsible for Roof Damage in Southern California
In the U.S., there are two main types of termites responsible for causing roof damage: drywood termites and subterranean termites. In relatively rare cases, a third type of termite — known as the dampwood termite — may also attack roofing materials. Regrettably, drywood termites, subterranean termites and dampwood termites are all found in abundance in Southern California.
Most of the termite-related damage in the region is caused by a species called the Western drywood termite. However, Western subterranean termites also cause significant amounts of damage. Swarms of Western drywood termites affect Southern California throughout the fall. Swarms of Western subterranean termites affect the region during the fall and winter, as well as during the first month of spring. Dampwood termites swarm in the late summer and early fall.
How Do Termites Damage Your Roof?
Termites need to consume a plant substance called cellulose in order to survive. Unfortunately, wood is a rich source of cellulose, and some termite species prefer to eat wood whenever possible. Drywood termites tend to be the primary cause of roof damage because they prefer to feast on the hard, dried wood used in roof construction. Subterranean termites seek out the softer fibers in dried wood and leave the harder fibers behind.
A single termite won’t cause that much damage. However, a colony may contain thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of termites, and the cumulative damage caused by all of these feeding creatures can add up quickly. Some people believe that termites seek out older buildings when looking for places to establish their colonies. In reality, they can pick any wooden structure, including new or recently constructed homes.
Signs of Termite Damage
There are a number of telltale signs that point to the presence of termites in your roof framing or the connected ceiling rafters. The most obvious potential signs include sagging in your roofline, sagging ceilings, loosened shingles or roof tiles, visible termite wings or dead termites in your attic and an attic with visible accumulations of a dust-like substance called frass (this is actually the feces that termite produce after consuming wood.) Other common indicators of termite infestation include framing members that are visibly eaten away, framing members that produce a hollow sound when you tap them, the presence of mud tubes on the exterior surface of a wall or chimney, and a smell in your attic that resembles the odor of mold or mildew.
During swarming season, you may also see live winged termites in your attic or around the exterior of your home. These creatures resemble winged ants, but differ in several ways. For example, winged termites have rounder bodies than winged ants. They also have longer wings and straight antennae rather than L-shaped antennae.
Repairing a Termite-Damaged Roof
Fortunately, termites rarely cause enough harm to make a repair impossible. Before repairing a termite-damaged roof, you must take steps to ensure that the entire infestation has been successfully brought under control. After verifying this fact with a termite control specialist, you can hire a qualified roofing company to perform the needed work. If your roof has sustained extensive damage, the first step in this process may be a temporary stabilization procedure that holds the weakened structure together until you can schedule a comprehensive repair that fully restores your roofline’s functional condition.
There are two main approaches to repairing termite-related structural damage. In some cases, you may need to completely removed the damaged wood and replace it with new framing timbers. However, a skilled repair expert may be able to provide a more limited solution by cutting out the damaged sections and securing new sections into place. In addition to damaging the main framing elements in your roof, termites can damage the sheathing that sits on this framing and forms the roof deck. You may need to replace each affected sheet of this material. And since the sheathing sits below the water-resistant underlayment layer and the outer roofing material, you may also need to replace nearby sections of these components, as well. The same steps used to repair termite damage also work for the repair of other forms of wood damage affecting your roof.
While a general contractor may successfully repair termite damage in other parts of your home, only an experienced roofing contractor can reliably repair damage in your roofing materials and completely restore the structural integrity of these materials. At Tom Byer Roofing Service, we have the proven expertise needed to assess the damage to your roof, determine the most appropriate course for a lasting repair and complete the required work with affordable, high-quality materials you can rely on. We use the same level of expertise to assess other forms of wood damage and perform critical repairs. Whether you’re dealing with relatively minor or extensive problems, we’ll find a workable solution that keeps your roof in great shape for decades to come.
Count on Tom Byer Roofing Service
Family-owned Tom Byer Roofing Service first opened for business in 1982. Throughout our 34-plus year history, we have established and maintained a proven track record for trustworthiness and a commitment to excellence. No matter where you live in Orange County, you can expect a quality experience that includes courteous customer service, a prompt response to your situation and cost-effective roofing repairs that meet your highest expectations. Call our office today to arrange a convenient appointment.
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