How do I assess and repair termite damage?

About a year and a half ago, I buy my first house. I have a pre-purchase termite inspection that comes up clear—no termites. At closing, the previous owner does disclose the fact that some “old termite damage” was discovered and repaired when they installed storm windows, but there was no sign of active infestation.

Moving forward 1 year, I have my annual termite inspection and it comes up clear—no termites again. Two weeks later, I find a bunch of dead swarmers on a windowsill in the garage.

I contact the exterminators; they come to the house look at the window and the surrounding wall (we also find several spots of damaged sheetrock).

The exterminators retreat the entire house and offer to fix the “visible damage” , basically just refinish the dry wall (my service contract is “full warranty” meaning they are supposed to fix all damage from any “current, active infestation”).

When I told them I thought we should open up the wall, they discouraged me and warned that they would not replace the drywall if I did not find any damage. The exterminator also assured me that I would not find and significant damage.

Against the exterminator’s advice, I open up a 10’ by 10’ area in the wall, approximately a month after treatment. I have not found any live termites (so apparently the treatment was effective) but the wall is full of mud and there are at least two or three studs that need replacing, plus lots of damage along the bottom and top of the wall.

Anyway, at this point, I’m not satisfied that I’ve found all the damage and I have absolutely no trust that my exterminator is acting in good faith. After all, the more damage I find, the more it will potentially cost him.

I really don’t know what to do next.

6 Answers

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi There,

    I applaud you for going ahead and looking for your self for the damage.

    Naturally the exterminator does not want you to find any damage because it will cost him to repair.

    Most likely the termites only "came up" in the one area and did their damage.

    Your other walls are probably OK but you can carefully inspect all around the house foundation to make sure there is concrete at least six inches above grade.

    Termites need a "ground connection" with the outer walls in order to '[come up" and get onto your walls.

    Sometimes they will build mud tunnels from the ground to the wall and that is what they use for their travels.

    If everything else looks good then the one place is likely the only infestation.

    If you see mud tunnels or the ground is up to the foundation then it would be a good idea to check the walls inside at those locations.

    I believe you are "on top" of the problem. Good luck.

    Al

    Source(s): http://www.callguarddog.com/termite_control.html some termite facts http://www.doityourself.com/stry/keeptermitesout#b for do it yourself termite prevention
  • 3 years ago

    Termite Damage Repair

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    How do I assess and repair termite damage?

    About a year and a half ago, I buy my first house. I have a pre-purchase termite inspection that comes up clear—no termites. At closing, the previous owner does disclose the fact that some “old termite damage” was discovered and repaired when they installed storm windows, but there was no sign of...

    Source(s): assess repair termite damage: https://tr.im/fyJHl
  • 8 years ago

    Inspectors can't say 'no termites', they can only search for the signs. A sneaky vendor can hide a lot of damage.

    Check local laws for termites and building repairs. If the top and bottom plates are still strong, you can consider a DIY. Remove the mud (good to add to your garden) prop the roof framing and replace the studs. If you need to change the top plates, it is much better to use a builder.

    Before doing repairs, get another inspector to take a look at it. Try to find a new inspector that you'll be happy to trust in the long run. Don't leave it 12 months before your next complete inspection.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Albert has a better answer. but I'd like to add:

    your house had previous termite damage. even if you find new damage they will argue it's old damage that they are not liable for.

    secondly:

    by the time you notice termite damage, then the damage you can't see is EXTENSIVE!

    Source(s): lived in a house with termites when I was a child. bought a flipped house with "minor" termite damage - it was a MILLION times worse than it looked. I pulled up the carpet to hard-wood laminate the floor and found MAJOR holes to the under-crawl caused by mites. I replaced sheetrock in that house and had to replace studs to have something to hang the new sheetrock to. I'm sorry, but it doesn't look good for you.
  • fcm703
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    You have my sympathy, but I don't have a good answer for you.

    Termites are a fact of life.

    I will never understand why they build houses with untreated wood studs.

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