Termite damage and repair: when & how much?


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Old 03-09-04, 06:02 AM
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Termite damage and repair: when & how much?

About 8 months ago I saw what I believed to be evidence of new termite infestation. It was a sawdust covered tunnel on one part subfloor (the landing between staircases) near the front of my house, where the cement porch abutts the foundation. This is in the same area as an infestation treated in 1998. I have a split level house and can get under the inside stairs and look directly at the foundation block, sill plate and band board to see this area.

Someone from the company with whom I have a maintenance contract came out, also thought it was termites and sprayed the area with termidor. (Which I've since been told is not a treatment for wood.) BTW, this is the company that did the original 1998 treatment.

This person returned to the main office and the gentlemen who has always visited my house determined (without coming out) that what we had seen was old damage and not new infestation, and refused to do a new treatment (also didn't come out to look at it himself). So I'm not exactly pleased with this company.

Since then, I mistakenly allowed a "handy" friend to start removing part of the sill plate to replace a portion damaged from the 1998 problem. He didn't finish, but it was educational to see how much of the wood was eaten away and yet the board seemed sound from the outside (ie, I couldn't stick a screwdriver thru it.). I've also noticed that there is a vertical 2x4 running up the far left side of the cement block that has areas that are like paper, easily speared with a screwdriver.

I'm interviewing companies in search of someone to finish the sill plate repair, and also a new company with whom to get an annual contract.

QUESTIONS:
1. How do you know when a board needs replacing? A
company that came out yesterday does both termite
treatment and has a division that does repair. He
can't determine whether I have a current infestation
based on what is visible, but says he will know once
they pull out part of the current sill plate to replace it.
Is that worth doing, or should I wait until I see more
tunnels or other external evidence?

2. They want $1250 to jack the house and replace about
6 feet of sill plate. I haven't yet seen the contract and
don't remember if that also includes replacing the band
board in that same area. Does anyone know if that is a
reasonable price for the Baltimore, MD area?

3. How will I know if the band board or any other structure
needs replacing? Should anything with tunnels be either
replaced or get a sister board, or do only the paper-thin
boards need that kind of work?

BTW, the company is 1-800-INSECTS. Anyone have experience or knowledge of their reputation?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Beth
 
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Old 03-10-04, 08:43 PM
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Termites

If you have termite damage, you need to get at least three bids for infestatrion, treatment, and replacement/repair. This tends to be standard in the industry. Make sure that you go with someone who offers a subterranean temiticide on both sides of the foundation and inspects everything thoroughly and gives a full report on damage and replacement costs. Please don't fall victim to the termite stations placed outin your yard. Go with termiticide on inside and outside foudntions and replacement/repair. Bait stations placed in yards tend to yield less than desirable results. I have first hand reports from folks who are relplacing hardwood and subloor with bait stations. The EPA states that this method of termite control should not be a stand alone method. Beware of irreponsible marketing.
 
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Old 03-11-04, 07:06 AM
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Before plunking down $1250, you may want to stop by the lumber yard and see how much 6' of 2x8 PT wood costs. Not a whole lot.

Not knowing the accessibility, condition of joists, joist spacing, joist span, is this a basement or crawl space, etc., is it possible you and your "handy friend" can DIY the sill plate replacement?
 
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Old 03-11-04, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for the help

I appreciate the advice re bait stations. I wasn't sure about them last year when I was looking for a company, and was advised by someone here against them, so have not used them.

I have called for a second bid, but will now look for a third. Meanwhile I got the bid on the first and it includes jacking, replacing the sill plate and vertical 2x4, spraying the area with something like borade, checking the block for moisture, and checking the adjacent rooms. I wasn't going to get the house treated if there were no signs of current infestation, as that would be another $900. Is that being foolish?

As for my friend doing the work, he isn't licensed or insured, so if there was a problem I would have no recourse. Also, the person who has already given me the bid said it will be a bit more dfficult than usual because the joists (for the entrance landing) are notched and it will be harder to get the sill plate out.

Thanks for the advice. I'll wait to see what the other two companies say and let you know.

Beth
 
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Old 03-12-04, 07:21 AM
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Lefty3, that's the bane of all my DIY projects, I only have recourse against myself!
 
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Old 03-15-04, 10:45 PM
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Termite damage

You need to go with a company that guarantees their work and offers a contract, which you can maintain, for termites and other wood boring insects. Termiticide should be inserted into soil inside and outside the perimeter of the foundation. Professionals have the correct equipment, license, experience, and knowledge to protect your investment in your home.

I just sold a new hardwood floor to someone who got sold on bait stations at their only defense against termites. Termites had destroyed joists, subfloor and hardwood flooring.

There is no guarantee that termites will find bait stations while they are on their way to your foundation and sill plates and the rest of your structure. It is best to go with a company who treats your foundation and backs it up with a guarantee. Bait stations should never be a stand-alone defense against termites. Structure foundations treatments are the best defense. Bait stations in the yard may stand as a secondary defense. However, most forum reports and complaints do not tend to support this despite the cost.
 
 

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