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Old 10-02-2012, 10:01 PM  
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Default termite issue

My son is in the process of purchasing his first home and we have found some termites in the walls of several rooms. A extermanator looked at the house today and thinks is a recent infestation and didn't find anything outside. It's a old ( 50s ) house that has some kind of fiberboard not dryway walls. They think the damage is pretty much between the surface of the fiberboard and its paper coating. Their going to treat and said we could skim coat the areas to repair the damage. It seems to me that with out cutting the areas out I'd be just hoping and guessing as to the extent of the damage. Wouldn't the proper approch be to cut it out say 3 to 4 feet and replace the area with drywall ???? I don't want to waist money but I want to get it done right .......Any insight would really be great !!!!

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Old 10-02-2012, 11:34 PM  
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What they are suggesting is the norm I think but having a look inside at framing and such would not be a bad idea.

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Old 10-06-2012, 04:32 PM  
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And how would an exterminator know anything about how to fix it, what the extent of damage is or how much it will cost?
If I was your son I'd pass on the house or if he's buying it real cheap make the owners fix and pay for it and be there to see the extent of damage before making a final decision.
Termite damage can get real expencive real quick.
How does this guy think they got up into the walls? There sure did not hitchhike. They had to eat there way up from the gound, though the fondation plate, the rim joist then into the walls.
What type of siding is there? I'd be pulling some of that off also, looking under the house as well, as the inside walls.
Fiberboard on the walls That's got me worryed. I can not think of anytime any form of a fiber board would be a sutable inside wall surface.
Back in the 70's it was used as sheathing, not used anymore because it failed so bad.

He found damage in serveral rooms, but thinks it's new damage and not all that serious? That's nuts, they would have had to be there a long time to have done that much damage.

Last edited by joecaption; 10-06-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:52 PM  
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The 'fiberboard' is probably Homasote, a cellulose product that really gained popularity in WWII, and shortly there after, still made and still acceptable in its modern form. Its basically a treated paper mache like material with paper backing. The anti-vermin treatment chemicals were originally some that would not be allowed today and may have "worn out."
As joe says the termites did not appear out of no where. They nest underground and come up the foundation thru earthen tubes to framing and then to paper backing, they will go for easiest thing to chew first. So infestation may be recent. Did exterminator go under house?

If still interested in buying house, do not rely on free estimates from exterminator, hire a truly independent termite inspector, unassociated with any pest control company, you current home insuarance company may be able to recommend an inspector. You may be able to hire inspector from exterminator if you make it clear that you will not be hiring them to do extermination, regardless of report.

If seller is aware of your interest, they should be willing to pay for removing some of Homasote and replacing it for inspection. If not I'd pass on this house.

Anyone contemplating buying or building home should watch original Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, several times. The main lesson learned is that being married to Myrna Loy makes anything bearable.
Measure twice, cut once.
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If you hook your thumb over your belt you won't hit it with the hammer or leave it layin on the saw table.
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