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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Termites vs Dry Rot

Termites and dry rot  are the two extremely harmful forces which can destroy even a single item of your home. They both are often misconceived by majority of the people. However, they both look similar but actually they are comparatively different from each other to large an extent. There are certain distinctions which you should know to treat them separately and potentially.

Dry Rot

Dry rot is a kind of wood rot in which fungi attack the wood. Fungi destroy the mechanism of wood which make it sturdy and firm. Fungi usually make the wood hollow from inside. A fungus is very much capable of moving water from wet areas to dry one. So you can never rule out the presence of fungi in dry woods.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are small insects which are extremely deleterious. They usually live in colonies under the soil. These insects come on the surface for eating or digging tunnels. There nourishment is largely based on the cellulose present inside the wood. So, they consume the inner part of the wood and make it useless and hollow.


Both termites and fungi create channels, but the process of making channels is different for the two. Dry rot in many cases looks like the dry brick or dry block. For it creates channels inside the wood by consuming wood and carrying water. On the other hand, termites dig tubes usually called mud tubes with soil, fecal, water or saliva. These tubes help the termites to shift from soil to food in search of food. The channels made by termites usually resemble the branches of the tree and the main channel or trunk standing on the ground.

How They Both Attack

Both termites and fungi have the common way to attack the wooden structures, i.e. exposure to soil. Both termites and fungi attacks through soil and the main reason for this are the cracks in foundation and moisture in the walls and floors. Dry rot is the result of too much contact with moisture. Fungi transfer water from wet surface to the dry surface. On the other hand cracks in foundation pave the path for termites to enter the home and attack the new wooden structures.

How to Control Termites and Dry Rot

Working on leaked pipes and water penetration in basement can be handy to control the mild attacks of dry rot. But for severe attacks of dry rot boric acid or borate is used. Boric acid is also helpful against insect.

Subterranean termite can be control with the help of different insecticides or termiticides. There are certain insecticides which are formulated to target the termites. These insecticides are used on soil and contain some termite baits. The insecticides used today are less toxic than the past. Organophosphates and pyrethroid are famous insecticides today.


Door Weatherstripping

Many types of door weathstripping is available in the market, you need the best which suits your requirements. Some of the best qualities are felt, plastic V-strip, adhesive foam and reinforced vinyl seal. Among these reinforced vinyl seal is the best and is widely used.

Required Items

Following items are required to replace or fix the weatherstripping on a door:

– Hacksaw
– 3-piece reinforced vinyl weatherstripping kit
– Screwdriver
– Tape measure
– Utility knife


1. First of all you have to measure the vertical height of the door jamb. For this, close the door and measure the height from top of the jamb to the verge of the doorstep.

2. Once you have taken the measure, transfer it onto the metal piece of weatherstripping. Make sure you have located the contoured part of vinyl weatherstripping pieces properly, that part is specially designed to fit against the header piece of the weatherstripping. Use the opposite end for cutting.

3. Now cut the metal piece or strip with hacksaw at the marked spot. Using utility knife cut the vinyl tube in accordance with the metal strip.

4. After cutting the metal strip and vinyl tube, take the piece of vinyl tube and placed it firmly against the door and the jamb. Take a metal strip and fix it to the jamb with the help of screws. Fasten the screws properly. Don’t over-tight the screws, once you feel the screws wrap up tightly stop fastening. Over tightening can give dent to metal strip. So be careful.

5. Now repeat the same process with the axle (hinge) side of the door jamb.

6. You are done with vertical part of the door; now start working for horizontal part of the door jamb. Take the necessary measurements of the horizontal width of the door jamb.

7. For metal strip to perfectly hold the door surface, proper measurement is very necessary. Apply the measurement you have just taken to the metal strip and modify the strip accordingly.

8. Cut the marked ends of the metal strip off at both ends with hacksaw. Take the vinyl tube and cut it with utility knife of same length as of metal strip.

9. Follow the Step 4 to install the weatherstripping on the horizontal width of the door jamb.


Guide to Install Fold-down Attic Ladder

Required items

– Wood
– Pencil
– 16d common nails
– 1×4-inch cleats
– 1×4-inch studs
– 2 1/2-inch screws
– 4-inch lag screws
– Vacuum
– Electric screwdriver or power drill
– Ladder
– Metal joist hangers
– Molding
– Paint
– Paintbrush
– Reciprocating saw
– Shims
– Utility knife
– Measuring tape
– Carpenter’s level


1. Take a measuring tape and measure the area on the cross beam (joists) of the attic where you want to install the ladder. Mark those places with pencil. Using the reciprocating saw, remove the front part of the joist where the ladder would be installed.

2. Using utility knife cut the ceiling trim. Make it clear with saw.

3. Cut a head guard of 2×8 inch from a wood. This will fit as frame in staircase. Use 16d nails and hammer to fix both head and the joist together. Later fasten it to the ceiling beam.

4. Take a 2-1/2 inch screws and a power screwdriver or drill, tighten the metal joist hangers on left and right sides of the framed opening. This will support ladder to hang. They should be tight enough to avoid any damage.
5. Vacuum the opening to clear all the dust from the area after cleaning it with the reciprocating saw.

6. Now take the pencil and mark the area on the opening ladder will fix on the frame. Take 1×4 inch cleats and screw them in to the marked areas on the 2-1/2 inch screws with power drill or electric screwdriver.

7. Take a closed staircase and try to fit it on the cleats (temporary) carefully. You need to center it on the frame by striking shims into the frame. Make sure that the staircase is straight in. you can take help from carpenter’s level.

8. Ask you partner to stand down. Pull down the stairs and ask your partner to hold the stairs firmly. You still on ladder, drill holes on top of the staircase and into the joists. Take 4 inch lag screws and put them in the holes. Take power drill or electric screwdriver to fasten the screws. Remove the temporary cleats. Calculate the length and angle of the ladder that it requires to meet the floor.

9. To give your ladder a firm grip on the ground, use saw to trim the ends of the ladder to a right angle. This will provide your ladder a good firm grip with ground.

10. Cover the opening with casing and paint the case and the panels to give it a better look. You fold down attic ladder is installed.