Termites & hardwood floor

Well, I'm cleaning out a room being used for storage and found that when I stepped in one area, that the furniture rattled. Checking around, I saw a few holes in the floor from well-fed little termites. I stomped around and saw that the damaged area was about 2x5 ft. The rest of the floor seems to be solid and did not give. But I expect that the termites are not limited to his area.
So after treating that area, I'm wondering it's possible to drill out some of the termite holes large enough to force inside some kind liquid or foam that will fill the space. I know that this probably will not end the bouncing, but a few holes is OK in that room, and I would like to avoid ripping up the flooring and replacing it.
I'm thinking about a non-expanding filler so it won't push up the flooring as it cures.
Anyone have experience with something like this?
Thanks in advance.
Bob
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On Saturday, August 10, 2013 4:03:59 AM UTC-4, Guv Bob wrote:

I stepped in one area, that the furniture rattled. Checking around, I saw a few holes in the floor from well-fed little termites. I stomped around and saw that the damaged area was about 2x5 ft. The rest of the floor seem s to be solid and did not give. But I expect that the termites are not lim ited to his area.

e of the termite holes large enough to force inside some kind liquid or foa m that will fill the space. I know that this probably will not end the boun cing, but a few holes is OK in that room, and I would like to avoid ripping up the flooring and replacing it.

g as it cures.

I doubt it will work. The first question is what space exactly do you expect the expanding foam to fill? Between the oak and the subfloor? Between the oak and a slab? a crawlspace? a basement? Without knowing what the structure is and how much the termites have taken away, impossible to speculate.
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Guv Bob wrote:

If there is a space between the hardwood floor and the sub-floor and the area is spongy, it means the subfloor, or the joists, or both, have been weakened or non-existant in that area. Putting some expanding foam under the hardwood through drilled holes will probably push down on that weakened material rather than pushing the hardwood up. Can you get to the underside of the floor from below?
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 8/10/2013 4:03 AM, Guv Bob wrote:

Lots of leftover tunnels from infestation of our condo building prior to our living there.....outside, with damaged wood close to ground, and inside (1st and 2nd floors) inside bathroom walls. The condo board was very negligent for a long time, including after the building had been tented. Over time, there were drywood and subterranean termites, and most buildings in the neighborhood eventually needed tenting.
I would start with an inspection by a good pest control co. and search for signs of other damage before beginning any repairs. Termites might have come from stuff stored in the room, from swarming, or from ground....located source?
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<stuff snipped>

"Seems" is the right word. Termites are miracle workers at eating away wood while maintaining a fair degree of structural integrity. I don't know how they do it, but by the time the structure is weak enough to fail (when a basement door just flies off the hinges - BTDT) the infestation is usually quite profound. As you noted in the second sentence, I expect that you can count on termite damage to exist from that area to the outside wall where they most likely are gaining entry.

some of the termite holes large enough to force inside some kind liquid or foam that will fill the space.
If you have spaces *that* large from termite damage, I would say you have to bite the bullet and replace the bad wood. Just what size holes (voids, gaps) are we talking about?

OK in that room,

We need to know more about what's under that area and other particulars before we could hope to give you acceptable advice. When you say a "few holes" what exactly is the nature of the damage?

It's pretty amazing to see how they eat wood away in a very controlled manner. Some nature show I saw had a segment about guys who pour molten metal into abandoned ant and termite nests and then dig away the surrounding dirt to leave a metal "sculpture" of the intricate tunnels. Here's what it looks like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozkBd2p2piU

I guess natural selection favored termites that could stay stealthy as long as possible. Their aversion to light helps them go undetected until a floor goes spongy. They may have done far more damage than suspected because they almost never expose themselves to light. It's not until you move a box or peel off some paneling that you end up doing a "Willard" and saying: "Jeez, look at all the termites!" <g>

Amen sister. <g> Although we don't know a lot of details, once a floor goes soft you've got the potential for widespread infestation and structural damage. The type of termite needs to be ascertained (wet or dry <g>) and the scope of the problem needs assessment. Nuking the inside with "dirtmites" may not solve the problem because subterranean ("wet") termites come in from huge underground nests

The giant Formosan termites that are plaguing New Orleans came into the country via wooden packing crates:
http://www.pbs.org/strangedays/episodes/invaders/experts/termites.html
<< approximately $1.5 billion is spent annually for termite control in the US Subterranean termites account for 80% of the damages.>>
Good luck, Guv. Termites suck. I have had good success with Spectracide termite stakes for "wet" termites (and yes, critics, I know it's not the right word, but it sure is easier to type than "subterranean"!) in an area where people insist on leaving large amounts of untreated wood in contact with the often very damp ground.
Chlordane was much better, cheaper and easier to apply but home builders dumping 500 gallon loads into foundations ruined it for everyone and the EPA (created by Republican Richard Nixon on 12/2/70) eventually was forced to put extensive limits on its use. One gallon, FWIW, lasted me 10 years for a small Cape Cod style house. One walk around the perimeter in spring dribbling a dilute mix from a milk jug with a nail hole in the lid kept the "dirtmites" clear for a decade. It's easy to see that 500 gallons was overkill.
--
Bobby G.




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Not really, not with filling termite tunnels.
First thing I'd want to do is determine the type of termites and the extent of the damage. From what you have said, it is probable that they are drywood termites. If so, you may be lucky because there areas of activity are pretty small and localized. Thing is, is that the *only* colony?
Once you get rid of the bugs and repair any structural damage, you might as well replace the damaged portion of the floor.
If you just gotta try firming up the eaten boards, the only think I can think of that would even have a remote chance of helping is something like Git Rot. It is a very thin epoxy meant for solidifying dry rot areas; it works because it wicks into the rotted area; still need to drill some holes, though. The only reason I am even mentioning it is because drywood termites make numerous, interconnected tunnels and it *might* flow far enough to do some good.
However, it's a long shot and the stuff isn't cheap. Me, I'd be replacing the damaged area.
--

dadiOH
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