Found out I have(had) termites!
I found out that I've had termites and trying to soak up as much info as I can. Actually I was told every house on the street most likely has them too. Here is my post that I also put on alt.home.repair.
Orkin came out and looked things over. It was the branch manager along with a new guy. The manager seemed to know his stuff but I think I was more knowledgeable than the new guy. Anyway they didn't do a real good inspection. Mostly just looked over the basement and around the foundation. Once they find the evidence I guess they figure its not needed to go around and tap the baseboards and check the attic. They did also find carpenter ants though! Maybe they could be the reason that every tube I'm finding is inactive.
They are coming out and going to use termidor. I realize the guy is just a salesmen but it sounds like to be done properly the stuff needs to be measured out. They are also filling the ground by the support posts of the house. They are spraying something on the surface outside as well for the carpenter ants. Will this work as well to get rid of them?
So now for a few more questions. Even though they are treated wood the guy suggested using metal supports in the house and removing the wood ones. How necessary do you think this would be? He also said its better to pull all the insulation from the area between the foundation
and the floor above and leave it open so it can dry easier. The other thing he noticed in the room we are finishing was the foam board. He said foam board is a no no for bug prone areas. Its hard to treat behind if there ever is a problem and makes a good hiding place for bugs.
I'm still concerned about the possible damage that could of been done. My cousin who builds homes said my floor joists are probly ok. It would take several in a row with serious damage to cause problems. After poking around it appears they may have just made some small paths through it. It didn't sound hollow to me nor was I able to poke into the wood on either side. Once the carpenter ants are gone I'm going to do some more poking around in the outside sheeting that I can get to to see if there are any more problems. Its driving me nuts that I can't see inside the wall above this area.
I also have some concerns on if I were to ever sell the house.
thanks and appreciate the help
Does not Orkin give you some kind of guarantee? If so read it throughly, if not,I would go with another Co. that did.:yes:
I have been a real estate broker for more than 23 years. It is not uncommon to find "signs of previous infestation" of termites in most older homes, especially in high humidity regions such as here.
As long as the tubes and previous infestation are "inactive" and there is no more than 1/4" of surface damage to any beams, floor joists, etc., it is deemed to be OK for home inspection purposes.
Floor insulation that soaks up ambient air and ground moisture can cause more problems than it solves sometimes, and if it is wet it isn't doing any "insulating" anyway, so you might remove it if it is. However, properly treated pressure-treated wood usually has a 50-year limited warranty and there is no reason whatsoever to replace it with steel IMHO. Termites won't touch p-t wood, but will tube across it (as well as steel, masonry, etc.) to get to untreated wood, especially if it is damp.
I also don't see any problem with foam board if it isn't installed in a damp area.
It doesn't hurt to get a second opinion from another company, even a smaller independent one. I have found that some of the name brand franchises such as Terminix and Orkin are no better and sometimes less knowledageable than local independent licensed pest inspectors. Get references and check them.
Some Pressure Treated Wood is labled "not suitable for ground contact" I don't know how you could determine this other then some kind of test.
As stated above, read and be sure you understand their contract. I am sure previous infestation will be mentioned and my concern would be how they would determine any new activity should there be any in the contract period.
Termite Activity is scary and facinating! How can they hollow out the whole inside of a piece of wood with no, or little, surface signs?
I have seen pictures of termite mounds in a crawl space, traveling up to floor joists:eek:
Orkin comes with a 1 year warranty. I called a local guy but he was backed up for over a month and suggested orkin. Another place wanted 85$ to inspect when I already know I have the stupid bugs.
I have heard in some cases that termites will eat treated wood. The orkin guy was also telling me about a place where termites bypassed all the soft wood and went for the hard oak. I'm guessing most of the time they will leave alone the treated wood but they can be unpredictable.
I did some more poking around with a screwdriver and the damage goes further in the joist than I thought. You can see some discoloration where they have made paths through the joists. There is 1 pipe and electrical wire going through them.
I'm thinking of getting someone to help and putting up 4 new joists by the old ones that I suspect could have damage. Or I can try to open up the areas that they tunneled through and squirt wood hardener in there. Would this be a acceptable method of repair? As it is now the joists are not sagging.
On top of the joists is plywood for the flooring. It doesn't look like they went through it. I've also heard that plywood isn't very tasty for termites so I'm hoping they didn't dig through to upstairs. Its hard to tell where they sit flat on the joists. They also made tubes along the unfinished basement wall that sits above the foundation. After knocking them down you can see etches in the wood where the tubes are but they didn't burrow deep into the wood.
I'm feeling a little better now as everything should be easily repairable. orkin is taking me to the cleaners though.
If you currently have termites, the termidor will take care of them. As long as it is applied properly. The design of termidor is to be a non repellent, which means it won't kill the termites on contact but will allow them to transfer it from termite to termite. So if you have any termites still living in your walls the chemical will be transported up and kill them all. Unless you have had termites for years and didn't know it, you walls should be fine. It takes along time for termites to do a lot of damage to a home.
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