If you haven’t seen it in the house or in the back yard, you’ve probably seen it in a horror movie or on the Discovery Channel…the gnawed wood that crumbles away with the least bit of air movement…the dreaded termite damage!
The inspector that walked through our home with us, before we bought it, emphasized that the standard recommendation is to have anti-termite treatment if there’s any sign of termite damage, whatsoever. Never mind the fact that our house is essentially built of cinder block. There are timbers in the basement that look something like land-locked coral. Thankfully, he assured us that that particular specimen was an old termite feasting ground–no longer active–but he, again, reminded us that the standard recommendation is to have anti-termite treatment…you get the point.
Despite his earnest exhortations, we have yet to get an estimate, much less treatment. With the enormity of our to-do pile (we’re way beyond a list), treating for something that may or may not be an issue just isn’t real high on that pile. Periodically, a little winged creature shows up in the most unusual place (bathroom, for instance, or the kitchen sink), but the house still feels pretty sound, and we haven’t seen anything current, so far.
The neighbor mentioned an interesting tidbit about the stumps in his yard. They were fairly fresh, just a year old or so, and he cross-hatched them with an axe, last year. This summer, when he started investigating as mowing season drew nigh, he discovered that he had no need of a mechanical stump grinder–the termites had plowed through the stumps, and he now has piles of mulch, in essence.
Although we’re still in good shape (as much as we can tell, anyway), termites can do some pretty impressive damage to homes, sheds, garages, etc. It’s amazing what destruction they can manage to accomplish…”strength in numbers,” I guess. In all seriousness, though, once they get into foundations, houses can tumble or shift enough to create major problems. In some cases, the anti-termite treatment is only the beginning of a long road to recovery that only ends with the final coat of paint and the fixtures.
Home renovations are one thing, but dealing with the major overhaul that may be required after extensive termite damage can be a little (or a lot) bigger project than most home owners are ready to handle on their own. A general contractor can be a good help in this kind of situation, especially with local experience and a variety of resources.
If you live anywhere near Washington, D.C., D.R. Hartman Construction, Inc. would be a great option to consider. They’re a Maryland-based contractor focused on helping you from start to finish, from the plan and design phase all the way through to those last fixtures. Besides experience handling the permit processes, they have great sources for materials, rough and finish. For a remodel in Gaithersburg or an addition in Bethesda, D.R. Hartman is the company to contact.