selling house with wood flooring problem


Hello. We were under contract to sell our home and discovered that we have active powder post beetles in our wood floors (we put them in ourselves 3 years ago). Terminix recommended stripping the floors bare and treating with BoraCare but could only provide a one year guarantee to retreat (but the floors would have to be stripped again to treat at that point at the expense of our buyer). We informed the buyer of their recommendation and we were willing to do the refinishing and treatment, but the bank pulled out and would not fund the loan due to the nature of the problem and the fact that we would only have a one year guarantee. We have read to “wait and see” or strip and treat, but we will need to move from this home in the next 3 years (at most) and it will be next to impossible to sell with a “wait and see” or a one year guarantee for treatment but not finishing expenses. We are currently thinking we should rip all of the flooring out to completely take care of the problem. The inspector found no evidence of ppb damage in our crawlspace or the subflooring. We only have one small area that’s “active” but it has hundreds of holes, has spread to 3-4 boards and we find the white frass every once in awhile. What is your recommendation for the best guarantee for future buyers? We just want this house to be sellable and not saddle ourselves or anyone else with a huge problem!!!

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March 30, 2010

guest @ 7:37 pm #

Thank you so much for your quick and detailed response!! That is such great information. We’re thinking that if we rip out the wood flooring, we will replace with tile and carpet (I’m a little anti-wood flooring right now!).

Last question…if we rip out the wood floors would you go ahead and treat the subflooring and crawlspace with BoraCare (or whatever the pest control company recommends) for ppb before laying the tile/carpet just to ensure no problems in the future (even though no evidence was found in these areas?). I truly appreciate your help with this matter. We’re getting so many opinions from people who have no experience with ppb that we really value have the opinion of someone with experience.

guest @ 10:19 pm #

Okay I’m so sorry to bother you again, but you are literally the only person we can find who is knowledgeable about ppb and can offer an opinion. Terminix isn’t even responding to my request for an official recommendation. Needless to say, we’re going to get at least one other pest control company to inspect and recommend and possibly a hardwood flooring company. Since previously emailing you we have some new information…we’ve spoken to two lenders (one of whom was the original buyer’s lender and said the bank did not cancel the loan it was the buyer who cancelled and he guessed they just didn’t want to tell us). Anyway, both lenders said they would simply go with the Terminix recommendation to refinish, treat and document everything and we shouldn’t have an issue with the banks. They said this situation is not that different from a home with termite damage which they deal with quite often. Sooo we are very tempted to refinish and treat b/c we love our floors and we don’t have the money to install new wood flooring.

Anyway, our question to you is: In your experience with ppb, in which an active infestation is identified in one small area of the flooring only (neither inspector found any issues with the crawlspace or subflooring but we’ll have that area treated too), does refinishing the floor and treating the bare wood with Boracare work as a total solution? We’ve only found activity (the frass piles) in 3-4 boards and we’re planning on replacing that section. What has us worried and questioning this decision is that the Terminix guy said he’d seen it go both ways with the treatment. He said he’s seen people treat and never have an issue again and he’s seen people treat and the ppb are back in 6 months. From what we’ve read online, the Boracare should completely treat the problem and last for years. Have I mentioned you’re my new best friend? Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information. It’s truly invaluable in this situation when we can’t find anyone willing to make a recommendation! I promise we’ll leave you alone after this!

Thanks again!!

March 31, 2010

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