Need help about termite infection

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Submitted by RoosterOrChicken on September 7, 2010 - 11:50pm

I am currently in escrow on a property in 4S ranch. The house is about 8 years old. I just got the termite report today.

It found wood destroying fungus infections on patio post and interior door step. I also found evidence of drywood termites on front door, window shutters, as well as some framing stud in the attic.

The estimated cost fumigation is about $5K.

I am kind of worry about the termite infection in attic. Is wood destroying fungus same as mold? Thank you for your advices.

Submitted by DataAgent on September 8, 2010 - 7:13am.

Termites are a big problem here in San Diego. Most homes have or had termite damage.

Get estimates and opinions from several termite exterminators. I've heard favorable comments about La Jolla Termite Control:

Submitted by NotCranky on September 8, 2010 - 7:20am.

The fungus is just because the post are getting wet frequently. Don't know how closely it is related to mushrooms but it is a plant.Just google "wood destroying fungus" and you can get a degrees worth of information if you want.
The cost of fumigation may or may not have much to do with the extent of the termite activity...probably not. It's more related to the size of the house. If the seller isn't paying for it , you can often get it cheaper than the first bid if only one termite co. bid the job.

On that house,you probably don't have a huge problem with the attic but should question the inspector thoroughly for clues as to what the colonies look like and if they are active, where and what have they done,still active or not. On very old houses I have seen rafters,the part that holds the roof sheathing up, that were hollowed out from the fascia to the peak. The wood pieces were like a paper box with nails stuck in it. I have seen walls in kitchens and bathroom where subterranean termites had ventured up to eat several of the studs too.

Rot from serious water damage from leaks in roofs and exterior walls, pipes, shower stalls and the like is much more prevalent than serious damage from termites. It's in poorly cared for buildings...usually rentals. Serious structural damage from termites is more rare but they do often make trim, wood items from porches and decks and such look like crap and sometimes open up houses so water drains in, causing more damage.

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 8, 2010 - 7:27am.

Termite infection? I think they have a creme for that. Just kidding.

What you described is very typical and can be resolved with fumigation. The $5K sounds obscenely high though and it should be between 2 and 3K for most 4S Ranch sized houses. Russel covered the dry rot issue. All that has to be done there is to replace damaged wood. To prevent reoccurrence find out where water is coming from and fix problem. Sounds like it could be overspray of sprinklers on the patio post.

Submitted by RoosterOrChicken on September 8, 2010 - 9:36am.

Thank you all for the info. The report was provided by the seller and the seller pays for the inspection and repair. It cost 5K due to the size of the house -- 5300sq? It's OK since I not the one pick up the bill. The inspection company is called "US Termite".

My concern are the severity of the termite damage and side affect of fumigation. Will there be any toxic left over? I have son who is allergic to lots of stuffs.

I will try to call the inspection company for detail.

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 8, 2010 - 9:49am.

Thats a big house but it still sounds high. Glad you arent footing the bill.

I am not an expert toxicologist but my beleif is you should be fine. I would probably consult with his Allergist to be certain. They should be able to allay your concerns or substantiate them if necessary.

Submitted by flu on September 8, 2010 - 12:12pm.

I have two dumb questions related....

1) Why are san diego homes termite proned?

2) If I have a small deck upstairs that needs to be replaced because of dryrot and/or termites, would any of you recommend going with a synthetic material versus 100% wood? I read some of the synthetic is wood composite and another kind is almost made out of plastic...Just wondering since...Well, I guess I have a small upstairs patio project.

To the original poster... I had an issue with some of my patio deck posting rotting at the bottom. It was due to the posts sitting in standing water. (The previous owner didn't put the posts on concrete bases, but instead the post made direct contact with the ground, which was dirt and plants and water. I ended up finding a contractor that cut out the bottom, creating about concrete base that sits above the dirt by about 3-4 inches, and had the posts shortened and anchored on top of the concrete bases.

Submitted by SD Realtor on September 8, 2010 - 12:54pm.


Question 1 is environment. San Diego is a home to both airborne and subt type of termites. Double trouble. Other areas around the country don't have airborne termites but do have subt types. Also anything with wood framing is gonna be a home to these types of pests. Try as youy might they will get into the home through small seams, cracks, exhausts, etc to escape the heat and set up camp.

Question 2 yeah I would recommend a synthetic product like trex or something similar.

Submitted by sdduuuude on September 8, 2010 - 3:09pm.

I used trex on a deck. I like it. Structure was made with the pressure-treated lumber. Stainless railing. No termites going near that deck.

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