Before and After ~ Carpenter Ants Love Cellulose

Before and After ~ Carpenter ants love cellulose

I often say water is the enemy of houses. For wood building components, that is because saturated wood is a prime target for insects who feed on its cellulose. Carpenter ants love cellulose. On this Neo-Classical style two-story porch, the damage from carpenter ants was particularly bad directly beneath one of the massive columns.

You can see in the upper center image how the 8″ x 8″ sill timber is being crushed between the steel pier below and wood column above. The detail image at bottom center shows clearly how the ants have eaten away much of the wood, allowing it to be crushed by the weight of the column. Because the ants do not touch the visible trim elements, this damage was hidden and only detected by the sag that carried up through to the roof.

On the right, you can see the restored porch. All of the rotted, ant-eaten structural elements were replaced and the porch deck and stairs rebuilt. Most of the original trim elements were intact and reinstalled.

The repair and/or restoration of porches is covered in Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners. The 720-page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores and from online retailers (it is currently 34% off on Amazon! http://ow.ly/Uumq50zRjJ5).

Signed and personalized copies are available directly from the author on this site, click here: https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.

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