So, OF COURSE we have… TERMITES!
Yes, the latest round in the bad comedy that refuses to die; our new house.
Well, a bit of background: Intuition told me (partially based on the condition of the electrical outlets in the room), that we needed to tear down the wood paneling in the den. We needed to know if there was anything bad hidden back there…
I thought it was just dry rot at first. It’s a 62 year old house after all.
Side Note here: For those who haven’t spend weeks learning building practices and codes like I’ve been forced to… Building a frame like this to mount wood paneling to a stone wall is a standard practice. The boards are called “furring strips” and APPARENTLY the primary reason for them is so you can run wiring and such between the stone and the wood paneling.
Well, as the pics show, subterranean termites SOMEHOW got through a solid concrete slab foundation, devoured the bases of the furring strip assembly, and then worked their way up the wall:
The mud tubes going up the wall are nature trails for termites… Not that they didn’t make a mess of the wood also. The first picture is about 1/2 way up the wall.
Note that despite the furring strips, the electrical was still cut into the cinder blocks and newspaper (AKA kindling) was used to sort of plug the hole.
To quote AC / DC; “It’s criminal. There ought to be a law. Criminal. There ought to be a whole lot more.” Oh that’s right, there ARE. We just don’t believe in actually enforcing building codes here.
Keep in mind that this IS a brick and cinder block house, so it wouldn’t be all that bad IF that was as far us as the little bastards went, BUT:
THAT is the ceiling. It means that the termites MAY (probably) have gotten into the roofing and / or the natural wood plank ceiling in the den. If they’ve eaten up the rafters or the plywood under the roof shingles, we’re talking multiple tens of thousands of dollars of damage.
Sometimes I think God really does NOT hate me, nor have a sick sense of humor, BUT then I ask myself… “WHO gets termites in a brick and cinder block building?!?”
Blasphemy aside, depending upon how things go with attorneys we’re interviewing, this MAY all turn into a series of posts on what NOT to do when buying a house, as well as several DIY fix up projects.
OH… And before anybody brings it up, we DID pay for a pre-purchase WDP (wood destroying pest) inspection, which was rubber stamped good to go.
By the time we’re done suing people, I’m retiring to the Maldives.