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Why inspecting for termites before a hurricane can save you money

A free termite inspection now may save you money in storm repairs later, an expert says.

TAMPA, Fla — Editor's Note: This story was originally published in June 2018 but has been updated in light of Hurricane Dorian's approach to Florida's coast.

There's something that might be missing from your hurricane prep list: a termite inspection.

Downed trees were a common sight after Hurricane Irma's strong winds ripped through Tampa Bay. And, with Hurricane Dorian expected to make landfall in Florida, you'll likely be seeing them again in the Sunshine State.

The pesky insects leave houses and trees vulnerable to strong winds.

David Crenshaw with Crenshaw Termite & Pest Control has more than 40 years experience working in pest control. He says termite damage is a big reason why trees and structures collapse during major storms.

“They will eat the root system of a tree, they will eat the living branches of the tree and in the storm, it will blow over,” says Crenshaw.

While preparing for hurricane season isn't cheap, getting your home inspected for termites is.

“Most exterminators do free inspections,” he says. “So, they're looking for termites. You don't want them to find them, but they're looking for it. I can't emphasize enough about an inspection.”

The free inspection even includes looking at trees around your home. Unfortunately, Crenshaw says, not many people take advantage of it.

Often, like during Hurricane Irma, homeowners find out after storm damage that their trees and homes are infested with termites, costing you a lot more in the long run.

“It's about $700 for any structure that is under 400 linear feet,” he says.

Eight months after Irma, Crenshaw is still getting calls from homeowners finally getting the OK from their insurance to get the termite damage fixed.

A headache you can avoid with a free inspection.

RELATED: Tampa Bay-area counties offer sandbags to prepare for Hurricane Dorian

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