One inescapable problem of living in the warm, damp climate of the Lowcountry is the presence of termites. If you own property here long enough, it really isn’t a matter of if, but when you will encounter them. So what exactly do we have to contend with in our area and how can we protect our property?
In the Lowcountry, we are lucky enough to have two particularly destructive species of termite, the Eastern Subterranean Termite and the Formosan Subterranean Termite (a stowaway from China). In addition, both swarm in the spring (end of March to June). They are estimated to be responsible for tens of millions of dollars worth of damage a year in our area. The Formosan Termite is of particular concern here in the Lowcountry because the populations of their colonies are so much larger than those of native species. In addition, they are not found in every state, and many transplants may not even know to ask about them when getting their CL-100. They were brought over from China in cargo ships over 50 years ago, which means neighborhoods surrounding the harbor and old naval base can be particularly susceptible. Termites are attracted to moist environments and choose to develop their colonies there. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of moisture during the Spring and Summer in the Lowcountry. Although infestations generally occur where moist wood makes contact with the ground, moisture from poor plumbing or roof work can allow for secondary colonies which do not necessarily need contact with the ground. So what should you do if you find evidence of termites?
First off, as a preventative measure, in the state of South Carolina, “Formosan Termite” coverage must be explicitly stated in writing on your CL-100 (make sure you have this!). You should then immediately contact the termite company which issued your CL-100 (if possible, if not, use a licensed South Carolina professional as you should with everything in your home). In addition, you need to check your CL-100 for a repair bond before you start shelling out money to contractors for any repairs. Furthermore, if you have the ability to test for moisture on your own, anything approaching 27% could be a reason for concern. Finally, termites are a fact of life in the Lowcountry and regular pest treatments are simply a necessity to maintaining the value of your property. Good luck and enjoy all the wonderful parts of living here!
Feel free to contact me with any questions or real estate needs!
Cell: (843) 284-6215
For more information...