New Deck termites

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by tamar, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Jul 30, 2010 #1

    tamar

    tamar

    tamar

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    Hi,
    On June 2, I had pressure treated lumber delivered from Home Depot to build a deck. We installed the posts that day and completed the deck over the next 2 week-ends. Today on July 30, I notice there is a chunk of wood missing from one of the corner posts. This is about 5'-6' off the ground. It is obvious this is bug damage - likely termites. Looks like the post is being eaten from the inside out. How does a PT 4x4 start deteriorating from bug damage in less than 2 months? Is that even possible unless it was already infected?

    I can also tell you several weeks ago I was outside and it was lightly drizzling and I saw a steady stream of small flying insects coming out from under the deck. I never saw bugs flying in the rain. I identified them from pics on the Net and they are Formosan subterranean termites. I am shocked, I dont even have a foundation to my home. When I saw this I did grab a can of bug spray and spray in the area they were coming from but I couldn't really tell where they were coming from. I only saw some on the ground as they were getting ready to launch. I sprayed the area but I wish I could have found where they were coming from.

    I called Home Depot and they are going to have their insurance company call me.

    I am very worried for my home now. I have a manufactured home that is about 30" off the ground so I dont even have a foundation.

    Should I be worried for my home and do you think the termites were in the lumber when it was delivered?

    Thanks for any help anyone can give. I am very upset my brand new deck already has a post that needs replaced and even more upset to think I am now infested with termites. If I wasnt already but I just dont see how a post can be eaten up to the point it shows already in less tahn 2 months? I do have a wood fence that has been up for at least 12 years (it was here when I moved in and I have only made a few repairs on it) and I dont see any termite damage on any of those posts or rails.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  2. Jul 30, 2010 #2

    tamar

    tamar

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    It was actually June 5 the wood was delivered. Heres some pics. Does it seem like pressure treated wood that has only been here since June 5 should be this cracked and disintegrating like that? I cant beleive I need to replace the deck already in less than 2 months. How can wood go bad this fast?

    deck_2months 013.jpg

    deck_2months 008.jpg

    deck_2months_2 005.jpg

    deck_2months_2 006.jpg

    deck_2months_2 007.jpg
     
  3. Jul 31, 2010 #3

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Sorry to be the one to tell you, but that is the nature of PT wood. It is made of pine, and shrinks and cracks after it dries out after being treated with all the moisture ladden chemicals.
    And the rot you say is there was there when it was made, probably a knot or a tree defect. Some even comes with pieces of bark still on it.

    The warping and checking does not happen until later.

    Not much you can do accept replace what bothers you, and hope the new stuff does not react the same way.
    This is why most folks use the new recycled plastic lumber.
     
  4. Jul 31, 2010 #4

    tamar

    tamar

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    OK thanks. I had no idea wood would crack open like that. I thought that is what pressure treating was supposed to avoid. Wow kind of not worth even building a deck lol.

    Are you saying the rot was already there but just did not show? I can tell you with 100% certainty it did not look like that when we installed it. Was it under the surface or something? And then just broke out? And is it going to keep rotting away? Do I need to replace it?

    I am thinkng now a concrete deck would have been a better choice ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  5. Jul 31, 2010 #5

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Again, it looks like it was installed that way and maybe you never noticed. Bugs do not eat wood overnight like that. It ussually takes about a month or more. I see this all the time where the wood gets processed and the grabbers make those divots, or rot spots you are talking about.

    The only rot on a Pt wood post would be from the center, in the core where the copper chemicals sometimes do not reach when they get infussed.

    Now do not forget, they make railings now that slide over the PT wood to cover all those blemishes. I would do that before I tear it down and waste $$.
    This is just PT wood and it's nature. I do not see any bugs there, but you can always get a reputable "LOCAL" pest inspector in there to tell you what you want to hear.
    Please do not use the big named companies...they will get ya.They sell on volume of jobs.
     
  6. Jul 31, 2010 #6

    tamar

    tamar

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    OK thanks. I know for 100% the rot was not there at installation as I was part of the installation crew. I wish I had taken pics right after to show but I guess it does not matter anyway as it is there now.

    I did not know that, that is a great idea. I will look into those.

    I have scheduled a pest control company for inspection and I hope they are able to tell me I do not have termites. I did see termites swarming out from under the deck several weeks ago so I would not be surprised if that is not the case. But I have never seen any other evidence of termites other than that. And that is what made me think this is termite damage from already infested wood. But it sounds like it is just already rotted wood and if I do have termites it had nothing to do with this wood. And I assume the termite guy can tell me for sure.

    OK thanks a lot for you help. I was really worried this wood had been termite infested and now my home would be infected but sounds like that is likely not the case. More like if I do have termites it is not becasue of this wood. Appreciate you taking the time to explain to someone who knows nothing abour wood and building materials :)

    Forgot to ask - will this rot keep deteriorating? If so, is there anything I can do to stop it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  7. Aug 1, 2010 #7

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    If it is rot, which I doubt, "but I have been mistaken from the chair over here before" Then It may continue if not addressed.
    The pest guys will let you know.

    Good luck, glad to help.
    Someone once helped me with sumthin, I'm just returning the favors.:)
     
  8. Aug 4, 2010 #8

    rosalie

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    My brother installed the same type of decking for my parents' home sometime this past July. On a visit to my parents' house a few weeks after he installed it, I too noticed a huge number of insects congregating in the corners of two of the steps going up to the deck. Nasty looking, light-colored creatures w/wings. My dad couldn't determine whether they were termites, but this is for sure: they weren't there before he put that decking up. Would love to get an update on your problem.
     
  9. Aug 10, 2010 #9

    universalremodeling

    universalremodeling

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    What did you do for that?
     
  10. Aug 10, 2010 #10

    rosalie

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    universalremodeling, My dad sprayed the bugs w/bug spray (I believe the bug spray was for termites). I don't know if that worked: haven't asked him if he has seen any bugs lately.
     
  11. Aug 11, 2010 #11

    Philphine

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    home depots lumber doesn't look pressure treated to me. i asked about it once and they told me it's a new method that doesn't use as dangerous/toxic a type of chemical.

    but what i notice is i can almost point out what lumber i got from home depot and lowes. it may just be appearance, but the lowes lumber looks like it is holding up better. i got to where the only reason i went to home depot for lumber is that they were willing to cut it to lenth if i needed it, and they seemed to have more sizes in stock.
     

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