Do termites eat laminate flooring or just wood? Not many homeowners know the answer to this question. If you're one of them you might be having a hard time determining what sort of damage your laminate flooring has.
The answer may surprise you. Termites are far more resourceful than we give them credit for. They can cause more damage to your house than you might realize and it's not always easy to tell whether they are the culprits or not.
This article will try to explain termite behavior, food preferences and the difference between having hardwood and laminate flooring. We'll also tell you how you can distinguish termite damage from water damage.
Termite Food Preferences
Make no mistake, most termites have particular dietary preferences. Some prefer the wood to have a particular level of moisture or hardness. However, there are plenty of cases in which these insects can eat other construction materials, particularly those that imitate wood.
It's important to understand that termites eat dead plants at any level of decomposition. This means that there are plenty of composites that attract their attention on occasion.
Do Termites Eat Laminate Flooring?
Termites will eat almost anything that contains wood. They've also been known to eat materials which don't have any trace of wood in them, such as linoleum and laminate flooring.
Laminate flooring is also known as floating wood tile. If termites find their way into your home you will soon see termite damage on laminate.
Excessive squeaking is usually the first sign. Although this is quite similar to water damage, it's more likely to be termites if the area is protected from water.
Unlike hardwood, laminate flooring can't really hide termite activity until it's too late. Because the floating wood tiles are so thin, any damage will immediately damage their structural integrity.
Hollow sounds could also indicate termite presence or water damage. The best way to tell is to look underneath the flooring and check for telltale termite tubes.
So, do termites eat laminate flooring? You bet! Can you fix the damage? Sadly no.
Because laminate flooring is thin and not all that durable, the only thing left to do is take it out, eradicate your termite problem, and lay down new flooring. The damage happens very quickly and oftentimes you'll have nothing left to work with.
Now that you know that termites are no strangers to eating laminate flooring and other composite materials besides wood, you may be asking yourself, why? Partly it's because laminate flooring has sublayers that mimic wood very well.
Another reason is that the critters just need sustenance and if nothing else is available they're likely to turn to the next best thing or closest thing that they can put on the menu.
They also need food in order to reproduce. Therefore, don't be surprised if your squeaky laminated floors suddenly show signs of a mud-like substance around the joints or if you start noticing holes in your floor.