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  • Writer's pictureJoan Gand

Termite and water damage

We started our work on the outside by addressing the most scary item from our inspection - termites. After getting several estimates, and speaking to our realtor who now became a good source of information, we learned that it is better to fix the problem rather than just tent the property. Our problem is that our beams extend beyond the roofline, and they are exposed to moisture constantly in the humid coastal region. We could see that our neighbors sawed off their beams to address the same situation on their house. But we wanted to keep the design intact, so we opted to replace the beam ends. This would not only look original, but remove the attraction for the termites. We learned that termites love water, and they only go where the wood is already wet. Here you can see the new beam end installed, glued and taped to dry.

Before each new end cap was put on, our carpenters removed all the rotten areas of the wood - a LOT! Check out this scary photo!

Once the rotten wood was removed, we could see the termite holes, so they were treated with an eco-friendly termite poison.

Then the end caps were built, in such a way that they fit over the exposed end of the beam.

Then the new cap was glued and taped on to hold in place while glue dried.

Finally, the tape was removed, wood filler put on and sanded, and then left to dry again.

Flashing was then installed on the top edge of each beam to prevent the moisture from ever getting in again.

And finally, it was all painted to match the original color. The whole process took about a month for 20 beam ends, 10 on each side of the house. We had the carpenters do other projects inside during this time while waiting for glue or paint to dry, including a new back door on the garage, and removal of 2 closets to make the master bath larger.

The finished product sure enhances the view!

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