I need to drill a number of 1/2" holes through the concrete slab of my house
in order to poison the resident termites. The swarmers came out in three
places in the center area of the house.
How can I avoid water and drainage pipes in or under the slab? Are these
pipes usually imbedded in the concrete slab or are they underneath the
Those pipes are in the slab itself. I would never take the chance of
drilling that many holes, one maybe ! This is a job for the termite
contractor where you have the option to get a contract and a warranty
plus they are liable for any damage or drilling through pipes.
A thermal imaging camera might be the answer, but I'm not sure if it can
"see" through 6" of concrete. Local heating/air conditioning contractors
may know where to get one. If not that, try the local fire dept. The more
affluent dept's (they are quite expensive) have them to see people through
smoke. Maybe they can call a trip to your house a "training exercise" to
use it. :-)
:) No contractor in his right mind would give a warranty like that. That's the
Not sure what you mean. Termite companies treat the homes to be able to
warrant the home against future invasion.
He means they wouldn't warrant their work against drilling holes in
I have no idea how any of this works. I only know what he means. :)
OP, you use the word "would" in your first sentence. It doesn't look
like the "past tense" "would", so it makes me think you are reading
their minds. You should ask them, instead of looking out for their
interests in ways they might not be. They know their business.
Not necessarily. Our main waterline came in below the footer and into the
compacted fill below the slab. THEN, it came up into the framing thru the
The plumbing drain system (Black ABS) is also thru & below the slab.
That's a good question. The answer is simple: You don't know where their
nests under the house are. They dig tunnels through the soil under the house
and when they emerge somewhere, they build their own tunnels of muddy earth.
During their mating season, March/April, they swarm and build more tunnels,
using the debris of the stuff they tunnel through, like wood or wallboard.
Nasty critters, causing more damage than all the hurricanes and tornadoes
together. Therefore you have to poison a fairly large swath, or all of the
soil, under/around the house
Not so much all the ground under if you do the perimeter. You have to go
down a couple of feet though, for best protection. I did my last house
when Chlorodane was still available and never had a crawling bug of any sort
i was under the impression they primarily treat the permiter and where
openings occur in the slab.
i suggest you get some professional estimates and ask lots of questions
it should help educate you on proper procedure
Please do not laugh at this answer. I learned it on a fire site from a
gas utility worker who made these dowsing rods out of coat hangers to
locate a gas shutoff in the front yard of a house that was ablaze.
You will need two steel coat hangers.
Take some utility pliars or wire cutters to cut through the hangers
where the twisted wire meets the rest of tha hanger and at one of the
bent "corners. Straighten them out a little until they look like two
capital L s. You can see a picture at
Holding the short ends loosely in your fists as if they were toy guns,
pointing straight ahead of you with your fists 8 to 16 inches apart.
Long ends should be parallel to each other. As you walk across your
basement floor, the wires will cross over hollow spots in the floor,
usually above pipes. Mark the floor directly below where the wires
cross. Continue this on paths about three feet apart until you map the
This will not be 100% accurate. You may find more hot spots than there
are pipes, but you certainly will not find less.
If you do not believe this, cut the hangers and test it for yourself.
Try it in your kitchen and walk across the floor until you find your
water supply pipe. Even if you hold the wires firmly in your hands,
they will take on a life of their own above the pipe.
It works in houses and in front yards, too.
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