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Old 07-17-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati(Silverton)
1,576 posts, read 2,303,405 times
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You said the tubes were hanging? That means they have been there for YEARS. It could be all kinds of hidden damage.

They had to know because a colony like that would have swarmed yearly in the garage. You will find discarded wings around the window as they look for light to take their flight.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:11 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,419,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unusualfire View Post
You said the tubes were hanging? That means they have been there for YEARS. It could be all kinds of hidden damage.

They had to know because a colony like that would have swarmed yearly in the garage. You will find discarded wings around the window as they look for light to take their flight.
Usually hanging tubes are wasps, not termites. Termites live in the ground because it is moist. I didn't want to contradict his post, but I doubt there are hanging termite tubes. Those wasp tubes look the same.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:24 AM
 
42 posts, read 70,171 times
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Thanks folks... to be clear, this was my whole house inspector. I took some folks advice on here and used Criterium Engineers. The guy was SOLID. So he just said he thought they were termite tubes, and he pointed out the damage, but he said hecould not say for certain the insect that caused it. Same for rodents in the attic. He pointed out the droppings and said it looked like rats,but he did not know for sure.

We have always planned on having a pest inspection, and will still have one. this should give some better clarity on the exact critters living in the house. I did see live termites in the trees though.

Again, I am not used to termites, as they are not that common in the north east. So what I think I am hearing is that it is relatively common to have termites at some point, and as long as you treat for them and correct the damage, its not that big of a deal. Is that correct?

Any idea what the annual maintenance fee is for the termites?
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:36 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,419,547 times
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Glad you liked Criterium. I recommended them because a buddy of mine worked for them after he retired as an architect/engineer.

I think the annual termite treatment is a couple hundred bucks. But the seller should repair all the current damage. The termite treatment guys will give you a guaranty and to get that, they do a more intense inspection than the whole house guy did.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:14 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,952,248 times
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I don't know how common it is to have extensive termite damage requiring repairs in the $50K range, but it happened to a house my husband and I owned previously. We'd had an uninterrupted "protection" contract with a national company, and a federal court case ensued.

I've seen wasp tubes and I've seen termite mud tunnels, and now that I know the difference in my opinion they don't look similar. Just about all the damage to our house was behind/within the plaster walls. Yes, there had been swarms in the springtime, and yes, there were mud tubes in our crawl space but like many people we weren't educated as to the signs or what they meant.

Solution? We would/will never again buy a house with ANY INDICATION OF EVEN A HINT of water problems. Termites have to have a dependable source of water to thrive and turn wood into broomstraws. You cannot expect an inspector to find the kind of hidden damage we had, and needless to say we do not trust so-called protection/treatment companies.

For what it's worth, we believe the most likely source of the infestation was around an incorrectly installed bathtub drain on the lower level of a traditional style split level house. When that bathroom was torn out as part of the repairs, we discovered there was just bare dirt around the drain. That level of the house also suffered from periodic problems with groundwater, too, but I doubt if those were ongoing enough to support the sizeable termite colony we were sharing our living space with.

Last edited by Sarah Perry; 07-17-2011 at 01:15 PM..
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:15 PM
 
405 posts, read 753,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bopfletch View Post
He pointed out the droppings and said it looked like rats,but he did not know for sure.
Mouse droppings are about 2-3 millimeters long and 1 mm wide. Rat droppings are substantially bigger. I would be somewhat leary of a house with rats in it. Mice can get in tiny holes but how the heck would rats get in the attic? Sounds bad.

Has anyone hear ever had rats in their house?
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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Yeah, I am sure the pest guy will know for sure. The inspector kept saying they were from rats. The droppings looked a little big to me to be mice as well, but I dont claim to be an expert.

I was/am a little freaked about the possibility of rats. I think if it is in fact rats... IDK, we may have to bail on the deal. I been reading and apparently there are rats called roof rats that like attics and trees. This is a brick house. In the attic it looks like there are several bricks missing in the attic (looks like it was done intentionally for air circulation/venting etc.) There are also quite a few trees over hanging the house. I would guess a rat could easily go from tree to roof in through one of these vents.

Has anyone else ever had rats?
IDK.. I am really torn between finally finding a house that works for us and these issues.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati(Silverton)
1,576 posts, read 2,303,405 times
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To me it sounds like the home owner is not paying attention. You can hear sounds in the attic. Rodents can be an fire hazard. They can chew through wiring. A termite tube is the size of a pencil. Mud dabbers makes tube high up on the wall, however it's usually 3-4 tubes in a row and do not cause damage.

Rat droppings are rough and tend to have small hairs in the droppings. Mice droppings are about the same size as the sprinkles people out on ice screen. Don't bait up there if it's rats. Of course that's not up to you but the current home owner.

I have been in pest control 20+ years.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,365,633 times
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You did not state the configuration of the garage. If it is part of the house, particularly underneath, I would be more concerned about how far the termites have gone. If it is attached, but not specifically a part of the physical house other than like a wing, I would still be concerned but not as much. If it is a detached structure, worse comes to worse tear it down and build another.

You have heard some horror stories herein concerning what termite damage can add up to. Let me add another.

Many years ago, my father worked for a family in Clifton who had a very old, three-story house complete with livery stable in the back. Suddenly they realized termites had devistated the entire interior of the house from the basement up. The house was old enough everything was wood. They made up their mind to have the house reconstructed in place. One of the most interesting projects I have ever seen. The family literally had the entire interior of the house gutted and replaced. As the contractor progressed they shored up the original exterior walls and rebuilt from within all the way to the roof. If it were me I would have bulldozed the house and had a replica built in its place. But these people loved their old house, had the money, had wanted their home rebuilt from the inside out. All I can recall is the family name was Price. Oh yes, another name Andrew Jergens Co.

I have followed your house hunting saga on this forum. Unless you get a qualified termite/pest inspection/control outfit who can guarantee there is not any significant damage, they can rid the premises of the critters, and give you a future insurance against further damage, I would pass on this property. I can absolutely state there are thousands of houses in this market which do not have rodents in the attic or termites in the garage. With all of your relocation problems, why do you want to saddle yourself with problems like these?
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,945 posts, read 8,093,993 times
Reputation: 1820
Some people have termites in their home and don't even know it. Termites have to do quite a bit a damage before you would notice them. A healthy colony of termites can eat a two by four in a couple of months.

We had a termite inspection when we bought our home. Then a few months after we moved in I put my hand on the door frame and my fingernail went through it. At first I thought we had some kind of water damage. Upon removing the door trim we discovered that termites had eaten all the way around our door frame. There were no existing active termites. We think they were killed after we had termite traps installed around our home.

Be careful which termite company you use. Our termite company did not cover the damage. We replaced the wood and door ourselves with no reimbursement. We now have a different termite company that does cover the damage should it happen again.

There are several different termite treatments and protection plans available. Be sure to check out your options and get the best coverage you can. You also want a plan that includes repair of termite damage.
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