Subterranean termite damage starts around particularly termite-vulnerable wood and spreads as the infestation grows. Termites may bore small holes into sections of this wood. As the infestation progresses, wood flooring or paneling may begin to look blistered, warped, or water damaged. Eventually, wooden supports may begin sagging, cracking, or breaking.

Unfortunately, subterranean termites can be surprisingly subtle… until they aren’t. The direct damage termites inflict on your property can be difficult to see; its only the fallout of that damage that becomes impossible to miss. That being said, early and minor termite damage isn’t invisible. You just need to know where to look. Here are six types of subterranean termite damage to watch out for, and how to spot them:

Frass holes

As termites chew their way through wood, they need to expel their waste, or “frass,” without clogging up their new living spaces. To do that, they periodically bore small, circular holes through the sides of their tunnels. You might spot these holes or the sawdust-like frass coming out of them.

Blistering or water damage

Early termite damage is actually a form of water damage, because termites introduce moisture into the hollow crevices they create inside wood. If wood appears to blister or bubble, then termites may be feeding beneath its surface. This is an especially common symptom on wood flooring, sub-flooring, frames, and panelling.

Hollowed-out wood

Termites hollow out the wood they carve tunnels through. The more significant the infestation, the longer the tunnels and the more hollow the wood. If you notice or even hear what seems to be hollowed-out wood, then you probably have a termite infestation. Start by checking wood in your basement and ground floor.


When termites create hollowed out spaces within wood, they compromise the structural integrity of that wood. As a result, important pillars, beams, columns, and other wooden support structures may begin to crack under the pressure of weight they’re supporting. If you notice cracks or other damage on wooden support structures, call us right away!

Crumbling sections

If termites hollow out a section of wood enough, it could crumble away completely. This frequently happens to relatively thin or detached sections of wood, such as siding. Termites may also hollow out and “cave in” a small section of a larger piece of wood.

Sagging frames

Door and window frames are particularly vulnerable to termites. As frames become structurally compromised, they lose their ability to support weight. Like other load-bearing wooden structures, frames can crack, split, or crumble under the strain, but they may also start to sag. Like other termite damage, sagging frames may look water damaged.

Rotting damage

When termites feed on wood, they both introduce moisture to it and expose it to the elements. As a consequence, termite-infested wood is considerably more vulnerable to rot. If you notice rotting siding, railing, boards, or paneling, then you may have termites to blame.

Outdoor damage

Termite damage in your yard is a particularly important early warning sign of possible infestation. If termites find places to feed around your yard, then they’re probably headed for your home. Look for signs of termite damage on trees, stumps, logs, or any outbuildings such as sheds. Take steps to keep the termites outside from getting inside as early as possible.


If you notice any of this termite damage around your home, give Griffin a call right away. Termite infestations never end on their own, and the longer they go on, the worse the damage gets. Griffin’s termite experts can deal with any size or severity of infestation. We’ll find your termites, wipe them out, and make sure they can’t damage your home again.

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