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Front Porch & Wood Deck Restoration
From Termite and Dry Rot Damage

Your deck might have termites or it might have wood rot, or even both. Termite damage and decay can look similar to an untrained eye but an expert can tell the difference by probing the wood.

Having termites infesting your deck supports does not mean that they are also infesting your house, but having a termite inspection by a pest control professional would be smart. If your deck is attached directly to your house, there is a greater risk of the termites moving inside since they could bypass any termite pesticides in the soil around your foundation.

For many they are unaware of a termite presence until it is too late. M3maintenance offers many services and termite deck or porch repair is among them. However we would like to help homeowners identify termite activity and stop these pests before they cause too much damage. If that happens, you will need to completely replace your entire deck or porch instead of a few simple and cheaper repairs.

Signs of Termite Damage on Your Wood Deck or Porch

There are many types of termite species that afflict the state of Oregon. However they share common signs of wood damage. Some termites build their nests in the ground while others will live and build their nests within wooden structures. Keep this in mind if you see signs of termite damage and no termites. This doesn’t mean they are not still there. First sign that termites might be feasting on your deck or porch is small piles of saw dust on the ground or even falling loosely from small holes. You may even notice some floor boards are weaker and give when weight is on them. Depending on the species of termite the wood that is being eaten may look slightly different. Some will create tube like tunnels throughout the wood; other species eat huge chunks out of the wood. The surface of the remaining wood may have a sandy like texture. Some termites eat through the wood and make tunnels but only leave a thin almost paper like wall through the wood.

Difference Between Water Damage, Dry Rot & Termite Damage

If you’re beginning to suspect termites are feasting on your deck, begin looking for mud like tunnels on the outside of the deck near the ground. If a section of your deck seems weaker, remove a piece of board to do an internal examination. Termites–especially the subterranean species–will burrow underground and tunnel their way to the wood and begin to feed from the bottom up. When you remove the weaker boards, look for signs that termites may be feeding on your wood. Wood can also get weaker due to water damage or dry rot. Dry rot looks more like splintering wood, where water damage will appear wet and soggy. If you see signs of termite damage or even if you see the termites themselves, contact a pest control company to kill the termites. After the termites have been dealt with, you then have the issue of repairing a damaged deck or porch.

Replace Damaged Wood Planks on Your Deck or Porch

Repairing your deck or porch means sizing up the amount of damage that was done. Some minor damage is easily repaired if you were lucky enough to discover their activity early. However major damages can leave your deck unsafe. Don’t try to attempt this repair on your own, give M3maintenance a call today at (541) 729-8640.

When termites begin feeding on wood, they leave their scent behind much like ants do. Regardless of how much damage was done, replace all the wood the termites were feeding on. This helps to remove their scent so no other termite colony will discover the abandoned site and move back in.

Today I would like to highlight a project where the homeowners front porch and deck, including the underlying structural support runners were damaged by both termites and dry rot.

Below is a series of photos showing the damaged caused by the Termites and Dry Rot and then the steps I took to fix the issue, including replacing all of the deck joists, and rebuilding it stronger than before.  To accommodate the clients desire to add a Chest Freezer to his front porch, we used double joists for extra weight support and durability.   We also used a water-soluble chemical  to prevent and control termite infestations. The chemical diffuses into wood, creating a barrier through which termites cannot pass. Termites are poisoned when they eat the treated wood. Once treated, the wood must be coated with a finish to seal in the borate.

If you notice that your Front Porch or Wood Deck is deteriorating and might need to be checked for Dry Rot or Termites, give us a call today at (541) 729-8640 for a free inspection and estimate.