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Termites

I grew up in Colorado where the threat of termites is somewhat remote. When you live in the South, they are a fact of life and newcomers must learn to deal with them. We have not found any evidence of active termites but they have been busy in the past.


The first evidence we found came as the siding was removed from the porch. This was a section of header that supported the porch.



At the top right of this picture you can see where the back door used to be. When the siding and trim were removed there was nothing supporting the floor where we walked in and out every day. Both of these areas were being removed so they didn't really represent any problems.

What you see here is a different story. This is the main sole plate at the rear of the old house. The picture is taken from below and may be difficult to understand. The boards coming down are the wall members and should be sitting on the sole plate. A 4X6 beam had to be bolted to the wall and supports placed under it. At the bottom of the picture are the floor joists (remember it's a 200 year old house) the originals are whole logs that have been knotched to sit on the sole plate. The original sole plate had been replaced at some point in the past. What you see is all that is left of 7 - 2X12 oak boards that had been nail laminated to serve as the sole plate. From the inside of the house the plate seemed solid. We had stapled electrical wires to the approximately 3/4 inch of solid wood that remained. A steel I-beam was placed under the floor joists and they were supported by jacks. The sole plate would have to be replaced. A solid White Oak beam 8 inches high and 12 inches wide would replicate the original.

The kitchen was added to the house around 1913. This picture shows the corner of the kitchen which had a raised flower bed next to it. We have definitely learned that you don't want to have any dirt near the wooden structures. This is like asking the wood eating insects to "belly up to the bar". Fortunately, this plate was only damaged for about four feet.

We were able to take these pictures from the floor of the new basement.




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