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Old 08-16-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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What to do during rebuild due to termites

I have a major problem on my hands. Termites got into my house and have eaten up to the point that I have to rebuild the floor and at least two outside walls. I started to tear out the old wood this past week and haven't gotten to the point yet where I'm not seeing damage.

I don't have the money or the credit to hire it done. I'll have to do it myself.

I have a moisture problem that the house didn't have in years past. I have water standing at the bottom of the concrete block foundation inside the voids or cells. The ground level between the retaining wall and the foundation wall is higher than the footer and the ground inside the foundation. And water is seeping into the block and the ground inside the foundation. I know I have to fix this. I never would have thought insulation would hold water like it did.

However, having said all this. I have to build the outside wall and floor first.

To help stop the termites from getting back into the new wood, I was going to coat everything with Timbor. I thought about spraying or dusting the top of the foundation wall with it, lay down tar paper dust/spray on top of that, then put down the treated lumber sill.

My question; is there anything i can do inside the concrete block voids to help prevent the termites from roaring back, besides filling the voids with concrete?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Old 08-16-2009, 09:52 AM   #2
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Usually metal flashing is also installed on top of the concrete block as a barrier
Hopefully others will have some ideas/input


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Old 08-16-2009, 12:21 PM   #3
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I've never dealt with an active termite infestation as usually the home has been tented and bugs eradicated prior to my being called in. Search "termite shield" in this forum and google the same term. Apparently there is a method of preventing termites from getting to your foundation by applying a ditch of some specific granulated material, probably somewhat costly. Termites are getting through vertical voids between blocks? Your issue seems fairly complex, perhaps involving sealing your foundation wall, grading issues, flashing, etc... In your shoes, I'd eradicate the active pest problem and address the foundation issue first. damaged framing, if not thoroughly destroyed, may be possible to salvage vs. completely remove. If you post some pics there are some skilled pros that frequent this forum (I'm fairly new here, but I'm a framer/remodeler and DIY guy myself).
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:44 AM   #4
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You need to install a termite shield over the block wall before you install the new plates. The plates should be pressure treated. It's not required by code if there is a barrier between the block/concrete but is good building practice. Timbor will give the new wood some degree of protection and is rated for the application you intend to use it for. However you still need to get the active termite problem treated or they will move on to whatever you have not treated via the infested wood. Anything that has active termites in it the Timbor will not have much effect on.

I know it's hard to swallow but you need to spend the money to hire a pest control company to treat for the termites. They can treat the soil and the voids in the block for you. Don't waste your time and money with box store termite treatments the money you think you save will be spent down the road when you have to rebuild everything again. In the long run money spent on a professional treatment will be money well spent. Also, you are right you need to correct the moisture problems as those will lead to other problems as well. I suspect this is on a crawlspace, if so while you are repairing the structure make sure the crawl is properly vented. You should have 1 vent per 150sqft of floor area with a vent located within 3' of the corners.

The grade outside the structure being over the footer is fine as long as it is less than 6" from the siding. The issue with the water can be fixed by installing proper foundation drainage and waterproofing the foundation walls. This is normally done when the house is constructed but may be absent in older homes. You may want to leave this up to a professional company if you are not proficient at running equipment. You may need to brace the foundation walls. You may also need shoring walls depending on the depth of the excavation.

If you haven't already pulled permits you need to do so. All the work you are doing requires building permits. Also make sure you remove as much of the infested wood members as possible. Obviously brace the walls and floors as necessary.
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