Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby Rachael1212 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:32 pm

Hi, I just stumbled onto this site and I think it's what I've been looking for! I inherited my grandparent's house last year, it was built in 1937. It has a lot of deferred maintenance so I'm not quite sure how much can be renovated vs. just remodeled. Right now I'm in the planning & budgeting stage. I know I have termites, both dry wood & subterranean. So far, I've had 5 different pest control companies come out and give me estimates; boy have their opinions & estimates varied!

One of the inspectors recommended that I treat for the subterranean termites now, but do the tenting for the dry wood termites after the renovations. His explanation was that new wood can also have termites which would just cause a new infestation. That makes sense when you think about it, thinking about it further I thought why would I want to fumigate wood that is going to have be removed. For example, the front stairs have some of the worst damage & will probably have to be completely rebuilt. But if this is such a wonderful idea then how come none of the other inspectors mentioned it?

Due to the amount of deferred maintenance (the house is on a hill overlooking San Diego Bay so dry rot is also MAJOR ISSUE) this is going to be an expensive labor of love so I want to do it right. I'm fairly handy (and have a lot of common sense) but I'm no carpenter so any and all advise will be very appreciated! Thanks, Rachael.
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby roma1625 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:34 pm

I don't know how long your renovation/remodeling is going to take, but there is no way I would wait to treat for termites. Think of it this way - they're slowing eating your house. The longer you wait, the more they will eat and could possibly cause structural damage.

As far as new wood, I always use pressure treated lumber for any additions. Sure, it costs more, but it gives you peace of mind. I don't think termites in new lumber is common. Certainly, one can look and see if there are.
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby Skuce on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:40 pm

You can spray your wood with a combination of Methylene Glycol (green car coolant) and Borate salts (borax, timbor, boracare) in water.

Also you can brush on Zinc Napthanate/Zinc Oxide in a mineral spriit/oil solution onto the wood.
Drew Skuce
Paradigm Shift Customs - Heritage Building Restoration
44 Holme St. Suite #100 Brantford ON Canada N3T 4Z7
http://www.ParadigmShiftCustoms.com
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby sampitter on Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:38 am

Rachael1212 wrote:Hi, I just stumbled onto this site and I think it's what I've been looking for! I inherited my grandparent's house last year, it was built in 1937. It has a lot of deferred maintenance so I'm not quite sure how much can be renovated vs. just remodeled. Right now I'm in the planning & budgeting stage. I know I have termites, both dry wood & subterranean. So far, I've had 5 different pest control companies come out and give me estimates; boy have their opinions & estimates varied!

One of the inspectors recommended that I treat for the subterranean termites now, but do the tenting for the dry wood termites after the renovations. His explanation was that new wood can also have termites which would just cause a new infestation. That makes sense when you think about it, thinking about it further I thought why would I want to fumigate wood that is going to have be removed. For example, the front stairs have some of the worst damage & will probably have to be completely rebuilt. But if this is such a wonderful idea then how come none of the other inspectors mentioned it?

Due to the amount of deferred maintenance (the house is on a hill overlooking San Diego Bay so dry rot is also MAJOR ISSUE) this is going to be an expensive labor of love so I want to do it right. I'm fairly handy (and have a lot of common sense) but I'm no carpenter so any and all advise will be very appreciated! Thanks, Rachael.


Rachael1212, I completely understand you but in my opinion you must go with a reputed company for termite control. Now a day's a new technique known as orange oil treatment for termite is best. So I will suggest you to go for that.
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby jeromecorey on Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:37 am

Agree with your point that "I thought why would I want to fumigate wood that is going to have be removed. " do this after reconstruction or remodeling and it will be necessary that no pesticide remains that will damage the new wood.
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby MarkRyan on Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:52 pm

Thanks for sharing interesting opinions and ideas for termite treatment here guys. I remember the last time we conducted a fumigation around our lot, one of the technicians was able to capture a caterpillar size like queen termite.
Looking for a solution onhow to get rid of spiders
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby 1920brickbaby on Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:54 pm

Orange oil is said to be good but ONLY on dry wood termites
I'm not familiar enough with drwood - I'm a licensed termite tech but in the NE rate we have subterranean
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby loricarballo on Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:45 am

Thank you for sharing the information.
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby AlexEverette on Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:54 pm

roma1625 wrote:I don't know how long your renovation/remodeling is going to take, but there is no way I would wait to treat for termites. Think of it this way - they're slowing eating your house. The longer you wait, the more they will eat and could possibly cause structural damage.

As far as new wood, I always use pressure treated lumber for any additions. Sure, it costs more, but it gives you peace of mind. I don't think termites in new lumber is common. Certainly, one can look and see if there are.


I agree completely! Waiting could be the difference between reversible and irreversible damage....
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Re: Treating for Termites before Renovations?

Postby sarahthibeault on Wed May 25, 2016 7:34 am

Thanks for sharing information.
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