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We are attempting to remodel a 50 year old family home. When we removed all of the old clapboard siding from the front of the home, we found extensive termite damage in the footing board. We have already put new windows on the back and one side of the house as we were replacing as we were going around the house. Is it worth cont with the remodeling? We are doing the work ourselves since budget is small. Any advice please.

Re: termites

Not knowing the house, that is a hard question to answer definitively. Sill plates are not hard to replace with a little education. Use pressure treated lumber and and treat wood above with a termite spray.


A. Spruce
Re: termites

There is nothing that can't be fixed, especially since you've already done several other walls and windows before finding the problem.

First things first, are the termites active or is this old damage? If they are active, then you need to kill them before you continue, or they will just infest the repairs and you will continue to have a problem. If they are inactive, then just replace the damage and move on.

I highly recommend a product called Termite Prufe, or similar, which contains disodium octaborate tetrahydrate. This product is virtually harmless to humans and animals, something that can not be said about traditional chemical applications. If you don't care about your health or living in a chemical swill, then call in a pest company to treat for you. I will tell you that if you have an active infestation, that it will likely take multiple applications before you get it under control, small price to pay for no chemical residues AND something that is supposed to last longer than chemical applications.

As far as repair of the damage, whether or not you need a professional tradesman or not will depend on your personal abilities. If in doubt, hire a contractor to do at least the structural stuff, and you can continue doing the windows and siding on your own.

Re: termites

Your house has "enemies", you know, weather, rain, sun, wind, greedy tax assessor, but not compares with termites.

If you see live termites, call a termite inspector stat, or the termites will convert your home into a pile of dust, no kidding.

Spot DIY spraying will not do the job if there are working termites all over. In that case you will need a termite control company, and they are not cheap these days.

Re: termites

I agree with A.Spruce. Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate, commonly called Sodium Borates are also sold under the trade name Timbor and Boracare.

I also recommend the termite stakes that you put in the ground around the perimeter of the house. They really work too. Use both.

Re: termites

"I also recommend the termite stakes that you put in the ground around the perimeter of the house. They really work too. Use both."

Termite stakes attract termites from neighboring lots, so you don't want that.

A termite company called TERMINEX uses them, but they also sell long term contracts with the stakes - and that's where the money is.

You want to eliminate your termite, not call all neighborhood termites to your yard.

A few termite companies offer ORANGE OIL all natural treatment, you may want to look into this option.

Re: termites

With termites you need to see it like a war for your own survival and throw everything you can at them until you're positive they are eradicated, then you need to monitor things closely for a couple years afterward in case they return. As long as they haven't gotten into the joists or the walls, it's usually not all that bad to replace the rim joist from the outside but there is some effort involved and you may need to devise temporary shoring to hold the house up during replacement. If you're comfortable doing this kind of thing it could be DIY but I'd recommend getting several contractors to quote the job after the termites are dead. Until that happens you need to keep the weather out of that area with something like Tyvek being a good choice.

You didn't mention location but in the middle and western gulf coast area of the US there is an epidemic of "Formosan" termites, and these require more than just chemical treatment. Like fire ants they are eventually going to be everywhere in time now that they are here. These are a more prolific, far hungrier, and tougher to handle breed than what we've seen in the past so I hope you're elsewhere.


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