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Forum topic by pendledad posted 03-05-2014 06:15 PM 924 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pendledad

189 posts in 741 days


03-05-2014 06:15 PM

If you’re lucky enough to never have termites them I’m jealous. We bought this house ~2 years ago and it seems that all the houses on our street have been a termite buffet for the past 30 years. With finished ceilings in the basements, nobody ever really looks at joists/beams/sills unless there is a problem.

My problem started with some plumbing that we replaced and I pulled down the ceiling and the plaster around the beam in the basement. And guess what I found … The beam was almost caved in and collapsing on itself. You would never have noticed because the floors weren’t sagging and the beam was so massive that it still seemed straight and level.

It appears to be a 9”x12” solid 26’ piece of fir. Here is what a healthy piece of the beam looks like:

And here is a section where the termites went to town:

They ate through about 4 feet of the beam, which was convieniently exactly 1/2 the distance from the foundation to the first column. Luckily I put up a brace/jack-post when I saw this damage to stop it from collapsing. The healthy pieces of beam are solid and heavy … these termite damanged ones are like paper. I can scoop away the mud-tubes with a finger. I know there is more damage in the house, but nothing I’ve found yet appears to be structural like this beam.

I was hoping to save some of this wood for a new fireplace mantle, but the beam actually snapped in another location and the previous owners patched it with steel. It snapped due to too much twisting and excessive heat from the steam pipes over the last 80+ years. The entire section was riddled with nails and adhesives and was unable to be salvaged.


8 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2300 days


#1 posted 03-05-2014 06:18 PM

yikes

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1558 posts in 1079 days


#2 posted 03-05-2014 06:53 PM

Yep! that’s what termites do, they eat wood.

As kids in Rhodesia we would get a plank that was painted on three sides and leave it near a termite nest – three days later we would have a shell of paint and NOTHING else. We used to think that was normal, because we knew what would happen.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View nelsonpitter's profile

nelsonpitter

3 posts in 167 days


#3 posted 04-03-2014 08:02 AM

Wood can replace metal if termites stop eating it. But it is not possible. There are a lot of treatments available to control termites in market but orange oil treatment is one of the best I have ever experienced.
One more thing about orange oil is, it is a pure green and organic product. Just few drops can kill thousands of termites. My pest inspection davis team is working on basil plant to create an effective solution of termite infestation.

-- Nelson Pitter

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1317 posts in 1021 days


#4 posted 04-03-2014 12:01 PM

Nelson, are you actually a woodworker, or did you sign up to advertise? Your profile is just an links to your non-woodworking business.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15772 posts in 1518 days


#5 posted 04-03-2014 03:17 PM

That’s pretty scary.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4323 posts in 1700 days


#6 posted 04-03-2014 03:23 PM

I used to have a house i Long beach California.
At night I could hear the termites eating my house away.
Some 2×4 were totally empty of wood only a paper thin envelop was left, nothing inside.
We had the house “tented” 3 times , it made absolutely no difference at all.

-- Bert

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1254 posts in 600 days


#7 posted 04-03-2014 06:20 PM

You have a bigger problem. In my experiences termites are attracted to damp wood. The first thing I would look for is any moisture problems. From there I would look for mud trails. These are the tell tail signs I have found. That is the best place to start. after that I would go around with an ice pick and poke around for soft spots. Termites will also eat the drywall. gently push on the drywall if you find a soft spot its time for surgery.

View nelsonpitter's profile

nelsonpitter

3 posts in 167 days


#8 posted 04-04-2014 05:36 AM

Hi BinghamtonEd,
I am a termite control expert and my team is working on mint and basil plants products to be used against termite infestation. As termites are very closely related with wood I am register to help other on it.

-- Nelson Pitter

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