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December 15, 2023

How Pests Can Affect Your Texas Home's Foundation

pests damage home foundations Austin, TX

Pests can have a significant impact on a home's foundation, and in Austin, Texas, the climate is highly conducive to a wide range of pests. Here are some ways pests can affect a home's foundation and how you can mitigate their destruction.

Foundation-damaging Pests in Austin, Texas


One of the most destructive pests for a home's foundation, termites infest and feed on the wood components of your home's foundation, leading to structural damage. The Austin area’s warm and humid climate provides an ideal environment for termites to thrive.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants don't eat wood like termites, but they do excavate it to build their nests. Over time, their activity can weaken the wood structures in and around your home's foundation.


The Austin area is home to various types of rodents, including mice, rats, squirrels, and gophers. These pests like to chew on the foundation materials as well as dig and burrow in the surrounding soil, all of which can cause instability and eventual structural damage.

Pest-induced Foundation Damages

Soil Disturbance

Some pests, like burrowing rodents, such as gophers or groundhogs, can cause soil disturbance around the foundation. Their holes and tunnels can lead to uneven settling, which in turn may compromise the stability of the foundation.

Excessive Moisture

Ants, termites, and other insects are attracted to moisture. If your home has plumbing leaks or there’s poor drainage around the foundation, the resulting moisture can create an attractive environment for pests. Furthermore, the moisture itself can weaken your foundation over time.

Structural Weakness

Pests often utilize existing cracks or openings to gain access to a home’s foundation. As they burrow or nest in these openings, they can contribute to the widening of cracks, potentially leading to structural issues.

Weakened Insulation

Pests, from insects to rodents, may nest in – or excavate for their nests – insulation materials around the foundation, which can reduce the insulation’s efficacy. This can not only impact the home's energy efficiency but also contribute to the aforementioned moisture-related problems.

Protecting Your Texas Home’s Foundation from Pest Damage

To protect your home's foundation in Austin, Texas, be sure to take the following preventive measures.

Regular Inspections

Conduct a visual inspection for signs of pest infestation and foundation issues during each season change. For the best prevention and treatment, have a foundation professional do a thorough inspection at least once per year.

Moisture Control

Make sure that your property has optimal drainage with proper grading, and fix any leaks or other moisture issues as soon as possible. Trim back the vegetation around the home, install downspout extensions, and consider using permeable materials, such as gravel, that facilitate drainage and discourage pooling.

Seal Openings

Seal any cracks or openings in the foundation using a high-quality sealant or caulk to prevent pests from entering. Make sure to use an appropriate sealant for the material you’re sealing, whether it’s wood, concrete, or metal. You can also prevent pests from entering in other areas of the home by installing door sweeps, repairing torn screens, and filling the gaps around your pipes where they enter the home.

Professional Pest Control

Hiring a professional pest control service to conduct regular inspections and treatments will go a long way in helping you keep pests away from your home.

Termite Protection

Consider using termite-resistant materials and applying termite treatments around the foundation. Most regular pest-control treatments are not strong enough for termites, so this is a specialized service. It’s best to have your home treated as soon as possible if you spot signs of termites, such as wings or frass.

Waste Management

Don’t make your home attractive to pests; make sure you don’t allow trash to build up around the home, and keep dead vegetation cleared away.

By taking crucial preventative measures and addressing pest issues promptly, you can help protect your Austin-area home's foundation from costly damages.

Do you know or suspect that your home’s foundation is vulnerable to pest damage? Have a professional inspection conducted immediately to head off further damage and prevent expensive repairs.

Douglas Foundation Solutions is a vastly experienced team of soil and foundation specialists, and we’re here to provide you with the solutions you need – and nothing that you don’t.

Call today to schedule an appointment: 512-291-0709