CMU’s + Termites = MANPOST?

Figure1-3house_piers_termite_shields_021-765625Stepping back a week or so, we were informed to WATCH OUT for termites and make sure to have the CMU wall and the Sonotubes termite shielded for safety. Apparently these bugs are everywhere and we should check around our home every month for their tell-tale tubes just in case. Here is what they look like and here are their “TUBES”:   Subtermitetube1termite-11
Little did we know that they would pop their ugly heads up so soon!

P1040066P1040063Today began with a trip to check out some barn wood offered to us free of charge. This barn wood ended up being 100 year old Oak. I instantly started loading the truck and after loading it 1/2 full I threw in a piece to see the edge fall right off as if held on by dust. After taking a closer look I realized this wood had active termite damage. I am NOT a woodworker and know next-to-nothing about termites, so I started making phone calls to some pros in the biz. I sawed through the worst termite-damaged piece to find that the active termite damage was not very deep below the surface of the wood. P1040065This means that the wood was still salvageable! Weehoo! boric-acidAll I need is some Boric Acid powder, Propylene Glycol, a spray bottle, and some water to get rid of them… then a planer to get past the termite damage.

The way you kill termites with Boric Acid is: mix 2 oz. of propylene glycol with 2 oz. of water in a spray bottle. Add 1 tbsp. of Boric Acid to the mix and shake it all up in the spray bottle. Then spray down all sides of the wood and re-mix as needed. The Boric Acid will soak into the wood and kill any termites within.

As we do NOT want to introduce a new termite family into our new neighborhood we will make sure that all wood brought back to our 1/5 of an acre is 100% termite free. Luckily after speaking further with the owner of the wood we now have permission to treat, plane, and cut the wood on site before we bring it back to our home! Unfortunately I came home empty handed from my morning trip, but the day was still young and we will be going back for the wood sometime soon.

Next up… finishing up the left, right, and back sides of our CMU wall with our mason.
P1040084P1040071P1040092P1040091
Mortar mixed, spread, and cinder blocks laid. DONE. We drilled 6″ holes in our footer and epoxied #5 rebar every 32″ sticking up 30″ on the left, back, and right sides after laying the first course of block. We bought open bottom bond beams to lay horizontal rebar through the 5th course in the wall. We ran two #5 rebar continuously (30″ overlaps) from the left side through the back and on the right side of the wall. This will add serious lateral stability to the wall so that when we compress the back-fill within the wall it will not force the wall outward.

Whelp, that is all for tonight. Tomorrow is still up in the air… but we might just have a chance to get started on the Sonotubes if the weather holds up! Fingers and toes crossed… time for bed.

Goodnight and don’t let the termites bite!

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