“Look at this!” Marcus Haynes held up his hand, letting a thin stream of sawdust trickle between his fingers to the ground below. “Termites. Every bit of it.” The side of Hayne’s home looks fine at a distance, but as you close in, you can see the devastation the small insects have wreaked.
“Termites are really fascinating creatures,” Haynes told us. “They live in colonies — a few hundred to a few thousand bugs, all of them as hungry as can be. In Africa, they build towering columns as nests.” He chuckled. “There, they build. Here, they tear down.”
Termites are the most destructive insect American homeowners have to deal with, but they’re not the only creepy crawly that causes problems. Carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage to the home. Both critters feast on wood, and have been known to burrow through lead, metal shields, plaster, and other seemingly impenetrable surfaces to reach the wood.
Which brings us to the question of windows. Wooden windowsills, wooden window framing, and wooden sashes and grilles all present a delicious temptation to termites — a temptation they’re not capable of ignoring. Driven by an insatiable hunger, termites eat and eat and eat. This obviously damages the integrity of your windows.
Windows with damaged frames leak air like nobody’s business. Think of that expensive heating and cooling energy just pouring out into your yard, escaping through a million termite-created cracks and gaps. It’s infuriating!
It gets worse. Where warm air can get out, cool air can get in. You’ve got drafts and chilly breezes making your family uncomfortable. If you have small children playing on or near the floor, you’re creating an environment where it’s hard for them to stay healthy.
Loose windows can also serve as a vulnerable point criminals can use to force intrusion into your home. That’s a security risk, plain and simple.
Considering replacement windows is an obvious choice, especially when done in conjunction with aggressive termite management. What frame material works best for replacement windows when pest control is an issue?
Let’s be realistic here for a minute. No matter how well you attempt to control the situation, the little critters are notoriously difficult to eliminate. They’re determined, they’re numerous, and they’re voracious.
One of the most effective ways to counter termites is to reduce their food supply. In other words, don’t give them anything to eat, and they’ll go away. (Just like those annoying relatives during the holiday season!)
This eliminates wood replacement windows as a viable choice. Wood replacement windows are beautiful, they’re elegant, they offer superior energy efficiency and style — but they’re also delicious — at least if you’re a termite!
On the other hand, vinyl home replacement windows and fiberglass home replacement windows aren’t as attractive to termites. Solid vinyl windows –rather than vinyl-clad wood windows — is the best choice for this application. Homeowners have reported good luck with fiberglass replacement windows as well. Don’t overlook doorways! Vinyl replacement doors are a good way to tell the termites “There’s nothing for you here!”