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Old 12-10-2019, 12:53 PM   #16
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Thank you Doomsdave for the comment.

You live in the coastal area(like Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Long Beach, Santa Monica or El Segundo area?) , and that means the temperature in your area is cooler than the basin area, not just the inland. And do you not have termite in the attic? That means it is highly likely that the attic in southern California is not a good place for the termite to live because of hot temperature in summer.

Thank you.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:37 PM   #17
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Here’s an LA times article on termites.
https://www.latimes.com/la-termite-r...17a-story.html

Pay particular attention to what it says about drywood termites.

Here’s another article from epestsupply.
http://www.epestsupply.com/drywood_t...p#.XfAKMMqIahA

Drywood termites can and do survive in some very hot attics because they are deep in the wood. And, they will often locate in the ceiling joists where the wood is cooler because of the air conditioned space immediately below.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:38 AM   #18
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykim View Post
Thank you Doomsdave for the comment.

You live in the coastal area(like Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Long Beach, Santa Monica or El Segundo area?) , and that means the temperature in your area is cooler than the basin area, not just the inland. And do you not have termite in the attic? That means it is highly likely that the attic in southern California is not a good place for the termite to live because of hot temperature in summer.

Thank you.
I'm in the coastal belt, but not at the beach!

It gets hot where I'm at.

Sorry to shout but the coastal area is big and broad, in many places.

Note Oso's piece, too. Don't assume you don't have termites.

A timely admonition, though the Devil gets into me . . .

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Last edited by DoomsDave; 12-11-2019 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:21 PM   #19
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


I lived in Socal (Fullerton) for 36 yrs. and the house had a flat hot mop roof. I re-roofed it three times while there. One time it had extensive damage to the roof decking from termites. No attic, roof deck and ceiling lids were on the same joists. Must have been pretty hot in that void.

They got up there from a planter box that butted up against the T1-11 plywood siding on front of the house. Ate up the 2X10 facia board and a large helping of the roof deck.

I fixed all that and treated the perimeter. When I moved 8 years later, it cost 4K to fix the termite damage before escrow would close. It was mostly facia boards although one huge beam was involved, although it wasn't structural. Termites love Socal.
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:45 PM   #20
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Thank you Oso954 for the two good articles.

I read them for more understanding. As you mentioned, I am especially concerned about the ceiling joists at the bottom and the floor board in the attic. They are covered by fluffy insulation materials(I was told by my next town house building neighbor that they are not asbestos because they had theirs inspected, but I am not sure 100% since my town house was built in 1977) and it is hard to see without moving the messy materials. And it is quite difficult to move around up in the attic from joist to joist in duck walk with about 3 feet height.

I want to spray all the wood in the attic with Bora Care for prevention, and the insulation materials is a very big problem.


Thank you DoomsDave for the comment. I want to go up to the attic again and double check, at least once a year.


Thank you surferdude2 for the comment, especially for the new construction terminology. Fullerton is not far from where I live. Can I ask 2 questions?

1. What is the a large helping of the roof deck?
2. When the termite ate the fascia boards, can you see the damage from the outside when it starts or does the termite start eating from the inside so it is not visible from the outside?

I wish that when they built houses, they had treated all the wood for permanent protection from termite, esp those structural and hidden wood.

Thank you very much.
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:23 PM   #21
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykim View Post
Thank you surferdude2 for the comment, especially for the new construction terminology. Fullerton is not far from where I live. Can I ask 2 questions?

1. What is the a large helping of the roof deck?
2. When the termite ate the fascia boards, can you see the damage from the outside when it starts or does the termite start eating from the inside so it is not visible from the outside?

I wish that when they built houses, they had treated all the wood for permanent protection from termite, esp those structural and hidden wood.

Thank you very much.
1. I had to replace two 4X8 panels of the plywood deck

2. It's rarely ever visible from the outside, especially on facia boards. Termite will eat all of the wood but the paint will stay to conceal the damage. The test is to use a dull ended probe and go along tapping it sharply into the some likely area and listen for a changing sound it may produce... sometimes it will even punch right on through and expose the damage.

ps. Often a favorite point of entry is often the cold joint around the toilet vent stack and into that wall interior. Any pipe coming through the slab and into a wall interior or any crack in the slab that runs under a wall will be a potential entry point of course.

Regards, SD2
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:41 PM   #22
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


You probably will not spot Drywood termites by damage until real late in the game. If anything, you will spot it by their droppings, which look similar to saw dust. Clean away the "sawdust". If it reappears, it's most likely termites.

The holes that they use to push the droppings out of the nest are called kick holes. They are about 1mm in diameter and may be closed by the last few pellets they were pushing out. Unless you have learned what they look like and are really close, you won't see them. If an untrained eye happens to see a kick hole, they are likely to overlook them as a fly speck or some discolored spot.

Btw if your insulation is fluffy I wouldn't worry about asbestos. The most common asbestos source in ceiling insulation was vermiculite, especially from a couple specific mines. Vermiculite is a granular loose fill. It isn't "fluffy".
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:58 PM   #23
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


As a side note, I had carpenter ants in my present home. Their droppings are similar to dry wood termite ones. Mine in particular had a somewhat shiny amber color, resembling the color of pine sap.

They're often the easiest pest to fight off. They establish a colony inside some of your wood structure but, like the subterranean termite, they must return to the soil to get their moisture to survive. Fortunately they go back the way the came in and that is often on the outside surface of the house where you can easily see their activity.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:30 PM   #24
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Thank you very much surferdude2 for the reply and additional comments.
I will use a long rod and tap the fascia boards to see if I can feel or hear the difference. I think the water and sewer pipes are inside the drywall and go into the slab, so it is kind of hard to see the crack in the slab. I bought 2 weeks ago a 5.5mm wireless endoscope to look around and inside the drywall for the termites. I hope I can detect the termite if any inside the drywall with this. I hope you can eliminate the new pest problem easily.

Thank you Oso954 very much for the comment.

Last spring, my family (they have young eyes) found a kick hole and a few droppings on the 1st floor drywall, and I treated myself using Spectracide Terminate 16-oz Termite Killer by drilling holes of 3/32" along the both sides of the stud from the top to bottom at every 12" or so and by shooting the spray into the drywall and the kick hole. After more than six month, I think it is gone, but I need to double check using the endoscope I bought. During this process, I learned more on termite finding and treating.

Regarding the insulation, after googling, it looks similar to the blown-in cellulose in color or texture, but I am not sure.

I included the photo of attic insulation material to see if anyone has any opinion in guessing. I know it is not easy just looking at photo. Is it easy to move this insulation material from one place to another to treat the wood underneath and at the side joists with Bora Care and move back to its original place?


can termites live in Southern CA attic space?-20191204_155035.jpg

can termites live in Southern CA attic space?-20191204_142422.jpg



Thank you very much.

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Old 12-13-2019, 01:13 PM   #25
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


@jaykim ! You are an apt pupil and a quick study.

I concur in all that surferdude and Oso have said, and add that sometimes termites can eat wood out almost to a papery shell, and you might not notice till you bump against it.

They love my firewood pile, till I have a fire. Termite-eaten wood goes up very fast!
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Old 12-13-2019, 03:58 PM   #26
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


The insulation in the photo appears to be old, blown in cellulose.

If you are talking about moving it back and forth, it is a lot of work to do so. The fact that you are even thinking about it implies that your attic is under insulated by modern standards. Due to age, what ever thickness that was originally blown in has settled/compressed To an inadequate thickness.

I’d talk to an insulation company to price the work with a delay between vacuuming the old stuff out (time required for your treatment) and installing new insulation.
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Old 12-13-2019, 05:20 PM   #27
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


That may be rock wool. In its loose form, it was the insulation of choice for years. Fiberglass pushed it out of the market for several years. It's now making a comeback but not in loose form. Rock wool batts are superior to fiberglass, as was the old loose form as well. It has slightly better R-value and it's fireproof (well, highly resistant to fire) since, it's actually made from rock, as the name implies.

It does cost more than glass. Some areas require it in firewall applications or between floors. Better check before removing it, just in case.

ps. Proof testing it with a lit match might tell.

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Old 12-13-2019, 10:43 PM   #28
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


take the time to inspect for termites!
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Old 12-14-2019, 01:03 PM   #29
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Thank you DoomsDave for the comment. Actually, I am not a quick learner. The termite treatment that I did was from the advice from a general contractor that I happened to know. He showed me the trick and the product to use. He said that when drilling a hole, drill in upward direction and toward the stud so that when shooting the foam spray into the hole, the spray covers the more stud area because the spray shoots up and then flows down along the stud due to gravity. It sounded like a good idea, so I tried.

Thank you Oso954 for the comment. Can I ask what it means by " your attic is under insulated by modern standards."? Do you mean that over time, the fluffy material settles to a small thickness so that there is not much air pocket in the insulation material and it reduces the insulation effectiveness? When I went up, I noticed that the insulation materials were above the joists( not in all area though), so that it was difficult to put temporarily one 2 x 4 plywood to step on. I was worried that stepping on the plywood might put adverse downward pressure on the 2nd floor ceiling panel wood because the plywood is not on the joists all sides. If the insulation materials have to removed by a company, it would be a work of great complexity and cost. I have never thought that far.

Thank you surferdude2 very much for the comment. From your comment, I am really learning a lot. I thought of it as rock wool, but it looks a little different from the google photo. So I was not sure. Do you think it has any possibility of having any asbestos in it? If I do the lit match test later on, what does it tell? If it burns, is it the cellulose? If not, is it rock wool or asbestos? I discarded it into the trash, so I can not do the test right away.

Yesterday, I treated about 2/3 of the inside of the garage joists, studs, and plywood panel with Bora Care myself after having swept once the surface for dust, hoping it would go a long long way. Like any work, preparation is a lot more difficult and time-consuming than the actual spraying.

Thank you all very much.
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Old 12-14-2019, 01:24 PM   #30
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Re: can termites live in Southern CA attic space?


Rock wool has no asbestos in it and it will not burn at match flame temperature since it's made totally from stone..

Cellulose will burn at match flame temp but it may be treated to resist that.
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