How much can I salvage termite damaged wood?
May 14, 2015 4:06 PM   Subscribe

There is a well-built shed on my property that is heavily termite damaged that I want to tear down. The inside is lined with cedar paneling and I'd like to salvage as much as I can from the entire structure as I want to build a new shed there but I don't want to doom my new building to an early death. What should I do?
posted by Foam Pants to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
Does the cedar show any termite damage? It may very well not as they don't tend to like it. Pull off the cedar and inspect it very carefully. Try to get all of the nails out of it. Stack it in a dry place with strips in between the boards to ventilate. Sunshine would probably be good too. You could also explore the use of "green" termite treatments, just google that and a bunch pop up. Inspect every single piece carefully just before you re-use.

When you build the new shed use a termite barrier/shield on the footings.
posted by mareli at 6:03 PM on May 14, 2015

Termites require direct passage to a functional nest to survive. This is usually some kind of earth tunnel. If this condition is not met then any termites in the wood will be well and truly dead within a few weeks of it being disturbed. Using wood that has termite damage is not an invitation for them to return. As long as the material is still strong enough to do what it needs to do, which in the case of lining boards is not a great deal, then it is OK to use.

To protect the new building from termite damage, use barriers and other good building practices as appropriate and prescribed for your area.
posted by mewsic at 7:27 PM on May 14, 2015

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