Repairing termite damage

Q: After removing the carpet on a 60-year-old floor in an 11×17 room, about 15 slats show slight to severe old termite damage. I have had to call the exterminator in the past, but not for a couple of years. I plan on carpeting again, my question is – must the whole floor be ripped up, or can just the 15-20 slats be replaced?

A: You can change only the pieces involved. You might find more damage revealed once you start looking closer. Hopefully not, but termites tend to eat from the inside and leave a skin on the surface.

Hardening termite damaged boards?

Related Q: Is there a liquid product that I can “inject” into holes drilled into floorboards that are a little spongy from some termite damage, that will harden them? Thanks.

A: There are injectable adhesives such as one from, I believe Bostik. If the damage is that bad, perhaps it is better to replace the spongy area with new wood.

Can I use wood filler on termite damage?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We tore this old, 100 yr +, house down and the flooring is a beautiful pine. There is some termite damage in almost all the boards. I want to know if I could use wood filler over these spots or maybe even the sawdust and glue. What is your idea about this? We would like to put this in a new family room. It is a beautiful wood. Thanks for any advice.

A: Your pine is obviously well seasoned, and I can imagine it would be beautiful. Of course, you can fill it, but make sure it is termite free!

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