Termite Damage Caused A Tragic Structural Collapse After The Property Owner Ignored A Termite Infestation On The Property

California is home to several termite species that infest homes and buildings in the state all year round. Unfortunately for residents, California is located within a “high activity” area when it comes to termite destruction. Due to the cryptic foraging habits of subterranean termites, it is hard to tell how many southern California homes are at risk, or are currently infested with the termites. Some sources claim that one in five homes located within high activity areas are currently infested with termites. And back in 1999, experts estimated that around 60 to 80 percent of Southland homes were infested with “wood-eating pests”, most of which are termite species. Luckily, termite control methods, especially preventative control methods, have advanced significantly within the past two decades, but termites remain the most costly economic insect pests in California. Not long ago, a termite infested balcony on a rental property in Isla Vista collapsed in response to an extensive termite infestation on the structure.

During the summer of 2013, a festive party took a tragic turn after a crowded balcony collapsed to the ground in response to structural weaknesses caused by extensive termite damage. Not surprisingly, the collapse caused dozens of people, both on the deck and the ground below, to sustain injuries, some severe. Some of the injuries included a fractured vertebrae, pelvis and leg, requiring several emergency and ongoing surgeries. As it happens, this tragic accident could have been prevented had the owner of the property not ignored the clear termite damage that the balcony had sustained. Evidence shows that multiple termite control companies confirmed that a termite infestation had been established on the balcony over a span of six years prior to its collapse. In fact, several termite controllers strongly recommended that the entire structure be fumigated in order to eradicate the wood-devouring pests. Understandably, several lawsuits have been filed against the officials who neglected the infestation, and court proceedings are still ongoing.

Have you ever found structural damage that you thought had been inflicted by termites?