The pest inspection didn't hide the fact that the termite damage was there. The price of the house reflected this, and we knew that the actual beasties were long gone. All that was left is their 'galleries',which are really quite amazing. Labrynths of mud highways, slowly and painstakingly built to keep them in the dark, hot and humid. They don't mind travel (they'll go over concrete, up drainpipes, under the ground), but they don't like exposure. Imagine if everywhere you went to get food you first had to build a tunnel to get there. And even though they're destructive little things, the structure of their galleries is quite beautiful. Kind of feathery.
They're fascinating, these little things. A female termite can lay up to 2000 eggs a day and live 50 years. They won't eat cypress pine (hence my floorboards are quite intact). It's not uncommon for there to be 2 million termites in a colony.
And whilst they damage the structural integrity of timber, they aren't indiscriminate. You'll find they might completely destroy one floor joist but mysteriously leave the one next to it completely undisturbed. They won't eat the gyprock sheeting, but they will eat all the paper that covers it.
See how they've completely eaten the vertical joist but left the horizontal one untouched?
And if they had have eaten that diagonal beam in the ceiling there, the whole house would have collapsed because it's holding up the roof. Dad put that iron pole support in there to hold everything up while we replaced those rotten bits.
I won't lie to you, when dad pulled the gyprock off the wall in the garage, it was a bit of a shock. There was more damage than we anticipated - I started calling it The Situation. We got a guy in who kicked a lot of wood and advised us what to do.
With that advice, the expertise and hard work of my dad, we're getting there. Controlling the Situation.
On a lighter note - I pulled up to park at the gym the other day and look was in front of me. Real crochet, real yarn, and made to order. I like the entrepreneurial spirit!
I'm only at the computer because I said I was going to making dad some lunch - he's in the Situation room hammering away, so I better go do that. And get your house inspected for termites!