Termite Damage in Sheetrock?


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Old 01-17-16, 10:40 AM
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Termite Damage in Sheetrock?

I've been finding soft spots behind paint in some areas of drywall, mostly on exterior walls. I can peel off large chunks of paint and find no drywall paper behind. A very fine power, looking like gypsum dust, collects on the floor under where I've peeled away the paint. At first I thought this might have been repaired water damage from the past where someone peeled away the wet paper, let the wall dry and then paint over. None of the areas I've peeled show any evidence of high moisture now (no wetness at all). However, in some areas there are holes and very insect-like tunnels (though I haven't found any dead insects or insect parts). The house was built in 1975, is in southern CT and in 13 years I've never seen any sign of termites or any swarming insects; just the occasional ant in the house. I do plan to get an exterminator in to take a look but would appreciate any learned opinions...
 
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Old 01-17-16, 10:43 AM
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One more photo that shows tunnels...
 
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Old 01-17-16, 11:30 AM
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I've seen where termites tunneled thru drywall when I lived in fla and some of it looked similar. As long as the drywall is still sound the fix is fairly straightforward - just fill in with joint compound, sand, texture, prime and paint. I would inspect any wood you can access well to make sure there isn't damage to the wood or a live infestation.
 
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Old 01-18-16, 08:49 AM
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Definitely subterranean termite evidence. This time of year it is difficult to tell if above ground activity is active due to winter. The good news is that you havenít seen swarming activity. Sometimes the swarm occurs on the exterior though. If no live activity is found you should check again in the spring and early summer. Watch how the inspector probes the wood and such so that you can do the same.

Is it possible that your house was treated prior to your ownership? Check patio/porch slabs for patched drill marks about 4-8Ē from exterior wall, spaced 12-18Ē apart. That would indicate a termite treatment.

If you do decide to treat yourself or have it treated at some point, I like the Active Ingredient: fipronil. Some brand names are Termidor, Taurus, and others.

Keep us posted.
 
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Old 01-18-16, 04:29 PM
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Thanks. I kinda figured it had to be. Are they more active in the winter looking for warmer environment? Would this be treated from outside the house or boring holes in the walls to spray inside?
 
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Old 01-22-16, 08:40 AM
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In the winter they tend to stay in the ground but not always. If they found a way to enter and exit without exposing themselves to the winter then they may stay active.

Subterranean termites are treated two ways generally.

One is the traditional subterranean soil treatment in the exterior soil perimeter and maybe some interior depending on construction, evidence, etc. The bulk of the treatment will be exterior.

The other type of treatment is baiting with termite bait stations. It is getting more popular but Iíve never done it.

I prefer the liquid soil treatment with the active ingredient: fipronil. You can get 5-10 years of residual life from it.
 
 

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