Can fumigation cause damages to my home?
No one wants to have their home fumigated, yet there are times when there is no other alternative.
Some pest problems can be successfully treated by the homeowner with locally sourced chemicals and others can be spot-treated by a professional service. However, some infestations are so devastating that the only choice is to fumigate the entire property.
Truth be told, a whole-house fumigation is inconvenient. Food items have to be sealed or removed from the home to avoid contamination. It is best to remove all linens from beds and out of closets and either seal them or move them off-site.
The homeowner has to find lodging elsewhere for a couple of days. To top it all off, the fumigation process may cause some damage to the home.
There are three different types of unintended damage to a home that are possible during the fumigation process.
#1 – Roof Damage
During the fumigation process, the home is covered and sealed with tarps. These tarps weigh as much as 200 pounds. The people carrying those tarps may also weigh as much as 200 pounds.
This means that a single crewman, carrying a tarp may represent as much as 400 pounds of a single pressure point on a roof. Additionally, the tarps must be dragged across shingles, tiles, and roof vents to be properly placed.
Depending on the type of roof and its condition, it may be subject to a good degree of damage.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind to help control or address roof damage:
- Find a termite control operator that offers a roof warranty that holds the operator accountable for any roof damage incurred during the fumigation process.
- Inspect the roof beforehand for any soft spots, bent roof flashing, or loose shingles.
- Discuss the possibility of roof damage with the termite control provider long before the fumigation occurs.
Because it is impossible for a termite control expert to be aware of the quality of a roof or its maintenance history, the homeowner may be required to sign a waiver releasing the termite control company from liability of roof damage. Be sure to discuss this concern early in the conversation with the termite control provider.
#2 – Plant Damage
The tarps that cover the roof during the fumigation process are draped down to the ground and then weighed down by sandbags to obtain a secure seal that keeps the fumigant within the tarp.
Plants experience damage from crew members who walk multiple times back and forth around the perimeter of the home to manipulate and move the tarps and eventually weigh them down with heavy sandbags.
Landscaping, plants, and shrubbery within 3 feet of a home’s exterior walls are going to experience traffic from fumigation crewmen, from tarps being moved on or around them, and could have heavy sandbags placed near or directly on them. Plants that remain within the tent during the fumigation of a home are likely to be damaged.
Before fumigation, it is advisable to walk the landscaping directly around the house with the termite control expert to understand where plant damage may occur and to what extent.
#3 – Incidental Damage
Some damage to roofs and plants is likely unavoidable and to be expected. Incidental damage is damage that is unplanned and unexpected by either the homeowner or the termite control provider. Here are a few common examples:
- Ladder dents or broken rain gutters
- Damage to lawn sprinkler heads
- Knocked down mailboxes
- Fragile furniture and housewares being broken by crewmen
Be certain to discuss a service provider’s policy for dealing with incidental damage during fumigation. Accidents sometimes happen; however, the homeowner should not be responsible for the costs associated with those accidents.
The provider should agree to be accountable for any incidental and reasonable damage caused by the fumigation process.
Whole house fumigation is an intrusive, but necessary process when a pest infestation is too significant to be treated by less invasive methods. In all honesty, some damage during fumigation is prone to occur.
The key to a smooth process is to clearly communicate and establish expectations and responsibilities before the work begins.
At Accurate Termite and Pest Control, we take your trust seriously and conduct business in such a way that will motivate you to let us be a part of your home for years to come. Our desire is to be your partner, not just your provider.