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Old 12-06-2019, 08:35 PM   #1
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Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions


Dear Readers,

I see a massive termite/rot problem. I thought it was going to be a replace the sill or fill part of the sill. Once I removed the rotted part of the sill, I can see additional termite damage to all the surrounding frame.

The sill is not like what I've seen on videos or in other sites it is a 2x8" that is angled 10 degrees. Also, the house wrap looks like 1950 tar paper but as expected it's not sufficiently covering any of the wood. I also see a little water damage to the interior plaster wall.

My sister is asking her handy man for an estimate, I'm not sure I can handle this myself I am handy but a little scared to be honest.

4 questions:
1. To repair this issue, would you open the exterior stucco or the inside of wall 6-12" or both to be able to see and have access.
2. The old windows were wood with a counter weight and the wood frame had/has special gooves for some of the window to slide up, the Vinyl window is a horizontal slider and obviously self contained. Can the window frame rebuild be a simpler as long as the sill has the 10 degree slope and fits the cutout size correctly plus 1/2 for the window to go in.
3. Would anyone have a recommendation on the termite issue itself spot or full tenting.
4. I'm very concerned with flashing the window opening, I've been looking at liquid membrane vs tape flashing but I'm not sure about filling gaps and tying into the old paper at least what's left of it so the area really is waterproof. I've done some other repairs last year on the other side and to be honest I did not flash because I was not thinking about it. Really dumb and had a tough year.

PS. I don't live there it was my mother's house but she was ill for a long time, my sister was and is living there but doesn't have a sense for home maintenance. We are estranged so that makes it even more difficult.

That's it, sorry this is so long here are some pictures.
Thanks very much for your help should you contribute. David
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Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions-img_9332.jpg   Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions-img_9338.jpg   Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions-img_9344.jpg  

Last edited by beachfix; 12-06-2019 at 08:54 PM. Reason: too long
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:06 PM   #2
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Re: Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions


Question was this home construction around about 1841?
It looks like it is a multi wythe brick wall ( say about 3 bricks thick )?
The wood framed opening is structural it is supporting the brick above the window removing it with out supporting the brick could very well cause failure of the brick above the window.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:42 AM   #3
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Re: Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions


Hi ClarenceBauer,

The house is a modest 1951 track house. This is a suburb of Los Angeles by the beach. The city is/was a suburban bedroom community near aerospace/US Steel, and the Port of LA.

The house is wood with stucco/wood trim siding. It's a smaller 1200 sq house, I had this info. in my post originally but took it off as I thought the entire post was too long for details.

I am not a carpenter I'm not very knowledgeable as I'd like. I have seen a few youtube videos and websites from construction folks especially a guy gregvan.com who is great and he is from my area (at least within 50 miles) so his knowledge is inline with what I have.

What I've gathered is there are 2x4 or 2x6? in the wall then something is sistered look at my revised picture and I put some notes on it. The more I think about it, it seems like the builder would have put a one piece window jamb 1x5 then the "stop" is 3/4x2 or 3"..... I really need some guidance...
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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Re: Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions


From photo, I'm seeing window parts, jamb, sill. These are not house frame, so you can remove them without worry. You should search for images and videos with words such as "house framing", "how a house is built" and "window framing". Then once you remove the window jambs, you should see the framing parts. Even if yours look different, you should be able to identify some parts. Horizontal frame is not that important. The frame under the window sill. The side frames, usually studs, take on the weight of the parts above, another floor or roof, so you don't want to see too much damages there.
Take a chisel, drill bits or spade bits. With a chisel, shave/chisel bits of the surface and see how the damages go. Take a 1/4" drill bit and start drilling here and there where you see the damages. By how hard or easy the drill bits go in, you should be able to learn quickly where the house frame may be too damaged or not. Then go with 1/2 or 3/4 spade bit and drill out bigger chunk of the studs and look for damaged wood. If you drill out 2 half inch holes side by side on 2x4 stud, and have one inch good wood on both sides, I would say that is still good. If you drill out 2 such holes with 3/4 bits and see hollow fiber spaces that's been eaten out, you should change that stud.
Those are the basics. Do something like it and post your photos about the judgements and such. Everybody can help.
If you decide the house frame is good, then call an exterminator and you must treat the area. Start with the ground and up over and around the window. Stucco does not have to be removed. The exterminator can drill small holes in the ground/slab/driveway/walkway and into the stucco and treat the area. My guess is that the termites found a way behind the stucco.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:24 AM   #5
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Re: Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions


Thank you very much for the information, sorry about my terminology being out of whack... beginners what are you going to do.

I've been viewing framing basics and window construction basics the last day and a half.

I'm wondering if you would go under the house and take a look as well.

Thanks for the information and technique I won't be able to go until Thursday unless my sister hires her handyman to do it but a termite person will be going there on Monday. I'll reply back when I know more.

One last thing, I am familiar and have had success with both West Systems 2 part epoxys and 2 part JB weld puttys and using both with a donor wood and PC products wood hardener If I can get to the termite damaged area and it's not terrible.

Last edited by beachfix; 12-07-2019 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:19 AM   #6
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Re: Termite rotted window framing issue 4 questions


Maybe treating the bsmt or crawlspace as well. Termite treatment probably should be done for the entire house at the ground level.
I don't think fillers will work, if you're thinking about repairing the window frame. Windows need fairly exact fits to operate and fillers may change the shapes. Windows also have load bearing points and fillers may not replace those functions. Don't know what kind of window but maybe replace? In LA, so you could use vinyl. In nj and I think the vinyl windows leak more air but that is not your worry. You can remove the window parts and have the window made to fit for the stucco outside with maybe 1/4" gaps all around. Then just hang the window to the rough framing with screws and caulk the outside. There isn't much you can do at this point to "improve" the flashing details around the stucco, unless you are willing to cut away the stucco, patch with better flashing then paint.
BTW, I just found out that there are portable paint matching devices. Maybe you could use something like it to repair where the exterminator drills. Not sure if it will work for you but seems like a good idea instead of cutting out a sample. Maybe paint stores rent them?
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