Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Termites Look Like


I think the title says it all. The above picture is the end result of about 4 hrs of destruction before termite infested supports removed....disgusting destruction....


On Sunday, I decided to rearrange the chair and bookshelf in my office. While doing so, I noted what appeared to be mold in the corner of my office - black in color at that. It was in the same place where my cat peed a few years back - we bleached, cut out drywall and sealed before recarpeting, more than enough, we all thought. Chelsie sometimes likes to "help" by closing doors, and closed the door to the unfinished part of the basement where the cat box is. Scoobi has never gone anywhere else in the house...which is why we have multiple cat doors now, to keep Chel out of the basement when I am not home...


David was a fantastic sport tonight and helped me investigate the issue. Upon removing the baseboard, we discovered the drywall was very damp. After cutting away the first piece, I about had a heart attack when these maggoty looking little things were running around everywhere. I spared my readers the picture. Anyway, it appears the corner of the basement is damp and had dampened the studs, making it ripe for termites. What we also found is that the construction of my basement is not up to par with what we are used to - the framing was clearly inadequate. At any rate, there are three separate issues - the termites (symptom or cause - I believe symptom), drywall (purely cosmetic) and damp concrete (main issue in my opinion). While I was not happy to see the termites, I was very happy it was NOT black mold and that we had done an adequate job in addressing the cat urine issue. Truth be told, I think the cat situation made me more aware of that corner and lead to early detection of the issue.


The end result? Exposed brick in my office, floor to ceiling and 2 feet each direction from the corner. Two nasty, termite infested studs in my yard, treated with peroxide to kill those little beasts. And likely a few thousand dollars to properly address it all. My first call tomorrow will be to Lonnie at Columbus Pest Control...he did a wonderful job in the spring killing the carpenter bees eating my deck. Oh, the joys of home ownership....



It is pretty easy to see which 2 boards were the tastiest. As the 2 still against the wall had evidence of being eaten, we cut out to the next stud - thankfully, the damage seems to end there.

Tools of the trade - hammer, sledge hammer, drywall saw, drywall knide, prybar, screwdriver and three bags of trash.


The two culprits prior to us realizing the extent of the damage. The one to the left is the yummy one. The white stuff is the Styrofoam insulation - no wonder I freeze my a** off down here in winter.

Termite evidence in the "insulation". I am so grossed out by the fact this filth was in the space in which I live, breathe, eat....nasty.

This was the view that made us realize there was probably more to this than meets the eye.

2 comments:

The Monroes said...

Man, that stinks! What a pain in the A#$!!!!!!

Alexis said...

I always heard that when you buy a house you just open up your wallet and let the money pour out. I'm sorry to hear about the basement. Not a cheap fix but at least you found it before it got too big.