Termite damage worse than expected

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  #1  
Old 12-28-17, 10:56 AM
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Termite damage worse than expected

I knew there was some termite damage when I purchased my home in 2008, but I didn't realize how extensive it was until building my addition. I had to replace two beams that surround the stairwell on an exterior wall and had the framer replace a few studs on the wall above. However, the damage continues along the wall towards my fireplace 12 feet away. It appears that most of the wood was spared across the span between the replaced beam and the fireplace (they ate up the asphalt-impregnated sheathing instead), but there are a few studs adjacent to my masonry fireplace that are in pretty bad shape. Structurally, I want to say the wall is fine, but I'm concerned that when I have my concealment inspection done that the inspector will notice it and say something. Considering some of the questionable studs are between the brick fireplace/chimney with sheetrock, firebox, mantel, TV, etc on the opposite side, how likely is it that inspector would gripe about this? Replacing the studs in this wall would be a huge undertaking that I'd like to avoid at all costs.

If it makes a difference, it doesn't appear that any of the new structure is supported by the termite damaged wall. There is a truss that is nailed to the wall above, but mainly for lateral support (the truss is supported on both ends by beams). And there is no cracked drywall which leads me to believe most of the damage may be on the surface. Although a couple studs are definitely eaten all the way through. I removed a large piece of sheetrock years ago to run some audio/video cables to above the fireplace and noticed the damage at that time, but it was mostly on the surface of the studs. A whole lot of small orange-ish brown tunnels if I remember correctly running up and down the ends of the studs. BTW, the termites were exterminated prior to closing, so there are no active colonies.

Primary questions are:

- Will the inspector ignore the damage considering it isn't technically part of the new addition?
- Should I be forthcoming about it and hope he doesn't make me fix it?
- Should I try to conceal the damage in hopes he doesn't notice it (I don't like this option, but if it saves me the headache and thousands of dollars...)?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-28-17, 11:00 AM
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It all depends on whether or not they catch it. If the studs are structural and the house is a mess already with other work this is a good time to take care of it though. My inspectors tend to be lenient for termite damage repairs and try to apply some judgement based on what the house is worth and what it would take to repair the damage. But if the area is opened up for other work and damaged framing is visible it must be replaced.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 11:17 AM
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There are a few areas that are opened up that face the garage, but the other studs are behind the masonry and would require tearing out my mantel, trim, and a whole lot of sheetrock. Guess I should just go ahead and replace all the damaged studs I can see and access from inside the garage and hope he doesn't notice the other areas.

There are several studs where the bottom foot or two are compromised, so for those I figured I'd cut off the bottoms and splice in a new piece. Would it be better to do a splint style repair (new stud on either side of repair to hold splice in place), or is it okay to secure the splice using a Simpson tie plate or stud shoe? I'd prefer the latter so my cavity is consistent for the insulation, but the former seems like it would be the more solid repair.

Proposed product for securing splice: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-...-5-R/100375338

...with these fasteners: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-...0+x+1-1%2F2%22
 

Last edited by mossman; 12-28-17 at 11:56 AM.
  #4  
Old 01-04-18, 10:18 AM
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I spoke with Simpson and they could not recommend the stud shoe for this application (not surprised). They also could not recommend using tie plates on the sides. They said they do not have a product for joining two pieces of 2x4 together. I'm kind of surprised tie plates are apparently not acceptable considering they are used in roof trusses. Sounds like splinting with 2x4s may be the only option. Or I suppose I could sister up the damaged studs all the way to the ceiling. That way I wouldn't have to remove the damaged sections at all and wouldn't need to worry about damaging drywall on the opposite side. I'll give the county a call and see what they say.
 
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Old 01-04-18, 10:47 AM
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If I have access I usually sister a stud top to bottom next to the damaged. If full top to bottom access isn't available I cut out the damaged section. Install fresh wood in the gap and put splints on the side to hold everything in line. The key is that there is good, continuous wood in a straight line vertically.

Splinting around a damaged area I only do with non-load bearing walls. My inspectors want to see wood on top of wood for bearing a load. Even though nails/screws have a strength in sheer they don't like it unless you have an Engineer's sign-off.
 
  #6  
Old 01-04-18, 10:54 AM
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No answer from the county (voicemail). I'm going to go out on a limb and say sistering up the the termite damaged studs for the full length of the stud (plate to plate) is the way to go considering this is a load bearing wall. Leave the damaged studs in place, nail the new to the old, and toe nail the top and bottom of the new stud like normal. No splicing, splinting, and no removing studs.

As far as toe-nailing the new studs, I plan on using 8d nails. Can I drive two through the side of the stud and one on the end (since the old stud will be in the way)? Or would I need to remove short section of the old stud at the top and bottom to get the third nail in from the opposite side?
 

Last edited by mossman; 01-04-18 at 11:17 AM.
  #7  
Old 01-04-18, 11:43 AM
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If I have access I usually sister a stud top to bottom next to the damaged. If full top to bottom access isn't available I cut out the damaged section. Install fresh wood in the gap and put splints on the side to hold everything in line. The key is that there is good, continuous wood in a straight line vertically.

Splinting around a damaged area I only do with non-load bearing walls. My inspectors want to see wood on top of wood for bearing a load. Even though nails/screws have a strength in sheer they don't like it unless you have an Engineer's sign-off.
If I come across an area where I do need to splint, I would put a new piece underneath the old, then splints on either side. How much should the splints overlap the splice?
 
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Old 01-04-18, 04:09 PM
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When sistering I normally toe nail two nails in each end into the side of the stud. Then shoot numerous nails through the side along the length to attach the two studs together as well as possible.

When doing splints I generally consider 9" on each side of the joint my minimum and I'll go up to 24" if I have the room.
 
  #9  
Old 01-13-18, 04:55 PM
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I removed all of the old sheathing today and it isn't as bad as I thought. The only questionable stud is the king stud on the right of the old window opening. I could easily sister it up, but am wondering if it's even necessary considering there is no window there and another stud 6" away. What do you guys think? A few other areas look suspect but they are solid.
 
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