Thursday, October 21, 2010

Termite Damage

We felt our wood floor was feeling pretty soft in some places, so we decided to pull it up to see what was happening.  We found live termites under our wood floor!

Termites eating the wood floor.

Termite damage in the upstairs kitchen.

Next we discovered termites were eating a structural beam in the bathroom.  It was time to call in the exterminator.

More structural termite damage

The exterminator treated the entire house for termites and identified our termites as Formosan termites.  This is the worst kind of termite because it eats wood so quickly. Formosan termites can do major structural damage in a house in just months.

As the workers started doing the demolition, they also found much more termite damage.  The upstairs bathroom floor and floor joists were so damaged that they could have collapsed.  The entire floor and floor joists must be replaced.

Upstairs bathroom with floor removed.

With everything this house has gone through in its years, nothing did more damage than the termites.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Uncovering the Past

While cleaning and doing some initial demolition, we uncovered some interesting things about the house.  Based on the structural members, it is obvious that the house is made of two rectangular houses which were attached to each other to form one L shaped house.

In addition, the two houses were one story houses originally.  After the houses were attached together to form one larger house, the house was raised and a bottom floor was added.  Based on the city records and drawings, the house was raised sometime in the early 1900s.  We are trying to find some old pictures of our house in the city records, but so far no luck.

You can tell the the downstairs windows are different from the upstairs windows.  When the house was raised and the bottom floor was added, they used different windows. The older windows have smaller panes of glass.

The ceilings upstairs were 8 foot ceilings. We demolished the ceiling of one room and uncovered 11 foot ceilings upstairs.

We uncovered some cute old wallpaper under the drywall in the upstairs bathroom.

The upstairs and downstairs hallways in the back of the house were once porches, and the back stairs were once outside. 

We uncovered old newspaper clippings glued to the inside walls under the drywall.  This newspaper article discusses Prohibition.

More Before Pictures...

Here are some more before pictures to show the extend of the damage and what needs to be done.

Termite damaged wall and floor in the dining room. And yes, that is a vine growing inside of the building.

Upstairs hallway - short ceilings and wood paneling everywhere.

Downstairs bathroom is mostly gutted.

Downstairs bathroom - you can see through the wall cracks to the outside.

Upstairs bedroom - short ceilings, wood paneling, and moldy ceiling from previous roof leak.

Upstairs bathroom - the ceiling collapsed due to roof leak and termite damage.

Damaged ceiling in bathroom - up close.

We hope there is no structural damage from the termites, but its not looking good.  We won't be able to tell the extent of the damage until everything is fully gutted and the walls are opened.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Before

The house had multiple broken windows and had been vacant for an unknown period of time.  Birds resided in the house and made quite a mess.  It looked like squatters may have lived in the attic at some point too; there were lots of old mattresses up there for make shift living quarters.  The house was partially gutted and was in desperate need of cleaning and renovations.

The wood floors were badly in need of cleaning and are termite damaged.

Old fashioned bathroom upstairs.

The house was divided into a duplex at some point approximately in the 1950's or 60's. The house was remodeled with wood paneling, ceiling tiles, and a wall was added at the front stairway to subdivide the entrance.

A second front door was added for the second apartment's entrance - not very attractive.

Outdated upstairs kitchen.