"Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Observations, thoughts and your stories about living in Thailand, share them here. 'My life in Thailand' or 'Observations on Living in Thailand'.

Moderators: Sometimewoodworker, MGV12, BKKBILL, pattayapope

"Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:01 pm

Chapter 14 day 1

I think it was around about this month 4 years ago when we first came here to this house.

1 (8).jpg


We bought the house because of its hidden potential…very well hidden under what the previous owners had obviously called their blue period. :shock:

1 (150).JPG


1 (229).JPG


I spent a month here alone with my limited range of tools making the place acceptable and that meant completely ripping out the bathroom, re leveling the sloping floor, building a shower cubicle, moving the bog and re tiling everywhere. :(

1 (34).jpg


1 (36).jpg


1 (38).jpg


1 (39).jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:14 pm

Day 1 contd

1 (46).jpg


Even then I was salvaging lumps of wood from the garden to head off the shower walls.

1 (53).jpg


1 (59).jpg


1 (62).jpg


1 (65).jpg


1 (75).jpg


In the main room we simply had lots of windows on every side. Infact when I look now, with a perimeter of 20m it was all windows except for a 900mm door and a 1600mm double door and 2m bathroom extension.

It was simply like being in a greenhouse, oh yes it was light enough but I don’t want to be having the neighbours looking in through a 5m stretch of windows as we ripen in the sun. :roll:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:27 pm

Day 1 contd

So we decided to block up the window wall and the old doors were in such a bad shape we would never use them so they were screwed up and boarded over and became the wall for the shelves and tv.

1 (6).jpg


At that time, as now; the house was moving, well the bathroom extension has settled to such an extent that the water from the shower needed to flow uphill to find the outlet drain.

1 (1).jpg


1 (31).jpg


But no problem, our predecessor had included the stiff brush to do that honour in the house sale. Over two stories its out of plumb by 100mm and there is nothing we do about it other than monitor further movement.

The windows at the back were useless really; who ever put this knock down house back together again must have had no experience at all.

They had started at one corner with the walls, but by the time they came around to the last corner, the window wouldn’t fit because the house wasn’t square, so we have this window disappearing behind the corner post.

DSC_0279.JPG


Four years ago, the idea was to block up the windows from the inside and to keep some of the heat out by infilling with some solar reflective ethafoam.

I fixed 4mm plywood to the inside face of the glass casements to at least hold them in position and try to stop them twisting further then I taped the foil ethafoam to the plywood.

Next was the timber framing on which to carry a 9mm mdf sheet.

1 (20).jpg


1 (28).jpg


The battens were the cheap machine finger spliced battens you get in packs of 10 from Global. Perfect for most diy jobs if you are not aware of termites!! :oops:

4 years ago termites were not a concern. Being a Brit I had never seen a termite, too bloody cold think!! And I didn’t see how termites could get into our hardwood house without being seen and eradicated quickstix.

Well in the last few weeks I have learned something new. They are like stealth bombers and just because you don’t see the mud pipe trails which occasionally we do; it doesn’t mean they are not there. :(
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:51 pm

Day 1 contd

We had noticed a problem with the mdf boarding about a year ago. It was expanding adjacent to the centre main prop post.

DSC_0252.JPG


The screw heads I had fixed it with were sinking behind the surface maybe 5mm or so and I put it down to driving rain finding a way between the outside cladding or via the old casement sashes and causing the mdf to expand.

In the last 6 months the mdf has expanded vertically down the side of the post the height of the window about 1m and the paint was going black and mouldy.

Of course we moved out of there 8 months ago so it was a case of turning a blind eye but I knew the priority was to re clad the whole of that long side. The inside was still looking fine as we had left it.

DSC_0250.JPG


DSC_0251.JPG


DSC_0254.JPG


One day I decided to have a poke around and realized very quickly that our wall was simply the three coats of emulsion and that was it…..behind it was a serious termite infestation, not only that I found a hole where the mouse had been staying I think, behind our bed..

DSC_0255.JPG


Today I want to rip out whats left of the mdf and get it on the fire and see what we can salvage and then decide how to move this on with a completely new fit out that will last a bit longer than 4 years.

The area near the centre post was the worst. This is obviously where they were getting in,

DSC_0258.JPG


DSC_0259.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:07 pm

Day 1 contd

DSC_0261.JPG


DSC_0262.JPG


DSC_0264.JPG


DSC_0266.JPG


DSC_0268.JPG


A section of 1mx1m was just termite s**t. It was dust and that includes the softwood battens. :cry:

Some of the battens currently under attack gave the clue to their stealth activities. They eat from the inside. They like the dark, they like warmth and they like dampness but most of all they like cellulose. Anything with cellulose in it, softwood, tree roots, paper and they suck it dry.

DSC_0267.JPG


Sucking it dry also gave me an idea or a clue as to why my hardwood cover strip I fitted between the bathroom and the window had shrunk in recent times.

I was a bit worried that the extension had moved a bit more but I couldn’t see much evidence elsewhere. So why has the hardwood shrunk?.
It was fine before and this wood hasn’t shrunk since I fitted it so why now.?

:idea: I thought…ey up I wonder if termites are at the back sucking the life from it.

A few taps, a gentle thumb pressing and yes the structure was collapsing. :( Oh dear, even mahoghany isn’t safe. I stained it…but possibly, most likely only the face side. :roll:

DSC_0272.JPG


In with the screwdriver and out came the workforce to say “wtf man”

Most of the damage was confined to this central area but they have eaten 1m2 of 9mm mdf and about 4m of 2x1 battens completely. :cry:

I am thinking I can salvage the rest with sprays and chaindrite as I did all my new house timbers. Then I will replace the mdf with maybe a 4mm shera board.

Then open myself up again and finish with plywood and bamboo weave ensuring its been well treated this time.

I could of course decide to clad the internal face with hardwood as the outside but I worry it may look a bit too dark. :?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:09 pm

Chapter 14 day 2

1.jpg


It was another full day removing screws and brodelling with the screwdriver to identify further infestation. The hardwood skirting board that I fitted as a coverlath vertically down the window was well under attack despite its appearance of still looking almost perfect. :roll:

As I mentioned, the clue I had was a bit more shrinkage in the last year despite no significant structural movement.

DSC_0285.JPG


DSC_0286.JPG


As I tried to remove it the termites were dropping, dozens of them. The back of the wood was well under way of being consumed but more worrying was that they had devoured about 50% of the timber roof prop to the side of the window frame.

I may have to bring the old fence posts back out and use one to provide support (and a bit of feature)

I had called at Global earlier in the day to buy some chaindrite termite killer. The stedfast stuff you mix with water at 30:1.
That will be phase 1; then I bought another 5 litres of the chaindrite stain I have used before on all my wood. I will brush that onto all the exposed framing.

Phase 3 will be to prop up the window frame with steel since 30% the timber framing has gone already.

DSC_0280.JPG


DSC_0281.JPG


DSC_0282.JPG


DSC_0283.JPG


I would have liked to get the spraying done so its working overnight but I don’t have any masks at home. Its imperative that you don a mask especially in confined spaces like a small room.

So I will leave that until tomorrow.

The plan ahead is not defined as I don’t really know what style/theme I want in this room. A simple lanna style would involve a bamboo weave on show. Now can I fix that onto supalux board, yes by screwing but stapling is easier into wood. The supalux can protect the wood but should I then overboard with thin ply?

Not sure not sure, I am waiting for the inspiration then I will be off……
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby Klondyke » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:26 pm

The termite always start from the connection of wood to the mason/concrete wall. And they feed secretly on the wood not showing themselves on the top. Therefore you will be surprised when after months your wood is just a thin surface lacquered layer.

For avoiding: to paint especially the wall touching surfaces strongly with chaindrite.
Klondyke
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:40 pm

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:43 pm

Klondyke wrote:The termite always start from the connection of wood to the mason/concrete wall. And they feed secretly on the wood not showing themselves on the top. Therefore you will be surprised when after months your wood is just a thin surface lacquered layer.

For avoiding: to paint especially the wall touching surfaces strongly with chaindrite.


Absolutely Klondyke, the reason I refer to them as stealth bombers.
You can see my photos, nothing behind the paint at all. sunlight kills thems hence they hide in the darkness.

I have learned its very easy to underestimate them :cry:
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:58 pm

Chapter 14 day 3

I gave the wall I opened up yesterday an allover chaindrite spray and then followed up with a brushed on chaindrite wood preservative. It was the new white wood battens that were most at risk, that said most of the packers that the windows are sitting on have been eaten away so I will need to bang some steel in or some of my hardwood offcuts…I think steel is best though not easy to wedge.

DSC_0287.JPG


DSC_0290.JPG



After realizing these creatures have snuck in around the back it follows that the 3 other dado walls will have at least some infestation. They were just covered with plasterboard and painted.
The plasterboard was applied before we got there and of course typically the board edges were not finished off with trim so a bit crappy really.

After a bit of furniture moving, I removed the plasterboard from the three dado walls. One wall had an ants colony in it, and as with the termites you can easily hear them munching and being busy busy. A quick puff of the ant powder stunned them until I could remove all the boards.

DSC_0293.JPG


DSC_0294.JPG


Not a great deal of damage to these walls but they are walls on sheltered sides and not exposed to the weather but some of the 3x2 timbers were eaten away.

From what I have seen so far, the vulnerable areas are the end grain. Where timber is cut or spliced to the next such as at a corner where there are two end grains. It is almost impossible to be able to treat these ends after the event and who would in all honesty cut and fit timber framing and then have a brush ready in hand.

DSC_0295.JPG


DSC_0297.JPG


DSC_0298.JPG


All I can hope for is to slow down the development of a colony by treating as much of the other timbers and waiting for them to poison themselves,

As with most of my decisions, they are made slowly over days but then you get the inspiration or the answer. On one hand I am looking for a cheap make do solution, but I don’t want it to look cheap. On the other hand I need to do this styling in keeping with the property. :)

Yes its looked great painted and bright with four internal feature posts but we need to go a step further and make it an appealing and more authentic place to stay.

So I have decided to bite the bullet and spend a bit more, and playing with fire again introduce internal timber cladding.

Termites are a worry now of course but I have noticed the present external cladding has not been touched at all on its back face.
The plan ahead is for me to return to BaanThi and see what khun Aek has at this woodyard, if not, then what is he salvaging in the future.

I need about 250m for inside and out plus an old door and frame to make the wardrobe cupboard. I am tempted to swap the plastic bathroom door as well , we will see. :roll:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby Andyfteeze » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:17 pm

Your tenacity is good to see but before you use a lot of chainrite, check out these safety specs.
http://www.sherwood.co.th/msds_en/Chain ... _30_SC.pdf.

Getting rid of the termites could be your own downfall.
Andyfteeze
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:29 pm

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby schuimpge » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:51 pm

Andyfteeze wrote:Your tenacity is good to see but before you use a lot of chainrite, check out these safety specs.
http://www.sherwood.co.th/msds_en/Chain ... _30_SC.pdf.
Getting rid of the termites could be your own downfall.


Read through the MSDS. Nice amount of warnings...
Even though it does not explicitly say Outdoor Use Only, the two lines "Long Term Exposure" and "Repeated Exposure" are strong indications for not using it inside a house to me. Ventilation might help to reduce the effect, but I'd resort removing and replacing the affected materials with new resistant materials (like shera-wood or hardwoods like teak) and then use the Chandrite around the house.

(Since Eyecatcher is a couple months ahead of us, the fact that he's still coherent and able to post his story might indicate that he's either resistant to this stuff now or did not use it after checking on this before he applied it.)

Cheers,
Luc
User avatar
schuimpge
 
Posts: 1318
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:01 am
Location: Pathumthani, Thailand

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:34 pm

Yes thank you both of you.

I am pleased that you consider me still to be coherent Shrimper.

I didnt take the chaindriting and subsequent treatments lightly and I will be reporting whether those warnings are worth heeding or not.

spoiler: yes everything you read about chloropyrifos affecting the nervous system is true.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:47 pm

Chapter 14 day 4

There has been upset again from her family back home. Her dad has been behaving rather odd of late and its scaring the family.
Its not the first time that incidents have occurred that have resulted in the grandchildren being sent to Chiang Mai for their own safety and even the new son in law who married Wasus youngest sister last year had returned to his parents when we visited recently.

Three nights ago her dad was brought back home by someone after being found in the village in the early hours just wearing his underpants but carrying a knife. :shock:

The girls; three of them plus his wife of course are very scared what he will do next and have almost barracaded themselves together at night.

He seems to be drinking more again and is now going to every village funeral just so he can drink for three days. :roll:

I have nothing but contempt for him but of course I suggested to Wasu that maybe he has a mental illness. It doesnt take a clinical psychologist to make that conclusion.

So Wasu has been trying to offer her suggestions firstly to ensure the rest of them are safe but she agreed with me that he needs to see someone to assess his mental state.

That idea was taken up by her mum but of course she has to go when the time is right, when he is calm, sober and actually prepared to talk to someone.

Its apparent that he is very upset still over the recent sudden death of his relative, but I have heard all these alcohol drinking excuses before.

Another theory of her mum is that he had dabbled in voodoo a long time ago and upset the spirits…………then wasu made another revelation to me…and this is ridiculous :lol:

Going back 6 years to when I first visited her parents house we stayed upstairs in the only bedroom. She claims that the spirits were not happy that I was not introduced as a new visitor to the house and to add insult to injury we were apparently playing hide the sausage. :lol: :shock:

DSC_0303.JPG


DSC_0306.JPG


I just cant make this up can i?

So the spirits were punishing him… :lol:

Wasus mum went into the village yesterday armed with this new theory and met up with …??....a local shaman??

After the tale was told the lady confirmed that he was possessed with a demon spirit but not to worry as she could help reverse its effects.

So Wasu continued….

“Mum was asked to scoop out some sticky rice and put it on the side”

“On the side?....on his body?”

“No just on the side”

“Ok………….”

Well this mornings Isaan news report was ready…

“any update on your family”

“Yes my dad was much calmer yesterday and last night”

“So it was the sticky rice then?” :?

“Well, we need to see what happens tonight”

Am I glad that when I suspect I have mental health issues I don’t need to go and pay a hefty consultancy fee from a quack when sticky rice is the answer.

To be fair the more and more I become cynical about Thai superstitions the more and more Wasu will relate a story to prove otherwise.

****

I decided to have a ride out to Ban Thi this morning just to see what sticks of timber khun Aey had in.

Its almost a year since I last visited him; with my friend actually who was building a big house in the city and I was taking him to order some cladding for his top floor.

Today the yard looked full and yes it was. A large house had recently been dismantled and there was a very big stock of posts and beams and doors and windows already tied up and sold.

He had a couple of nice small double doors perfect for my wardrobe cupboard but they were sold and he didn’t have any hardwood cladding that was any good, but lots of teak.

1.jpg


1 (1).jpg


I need 500 sork and the teak is twice the price of hardwood. Quite an expense so I will think about it after I see his new stock which arrives in 4 days.

Word is that the house they have has 80% teak cladding and 20% hardwood. Lets hope it’s a big house then.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:23 pm

Chapter 14 day 5

With no prospect of even looking at any cladding for 4 days it looks like I will be having a quiet week. :(

What I do need to contemplate is how to fix the cladding to the outside at first floor level. I need access.

DSC_0310.JPG


I really didn’t want to do this cladding because I didn’t have a tower scaffold any more and Thong had taken back his scaffold standards and left me with only one!

That said, the steel scaffold was dangerously heavy and very difficult to erect even when there were two of us at it. :roll:

Then I get an idea. :idea: I have the three main floor beams cantilevering about 700mm beyond the tree posts.

DSC_0311.JPG


If I can find some old offcuts of timber long enough to extend further then I could be in business.

Fortunately I have a few of the old decking boards left, so after checking them over I chose three and attempted to nail them into the original floor beams.

DSC_0312.JPG


I say attempted because either the timber was too hard or my nails had the strength of a drinking straw. Most didn’t last three hammer blows before collapsing crappy thin nails they are, its only wood they are penetrating.

DSC_0313.JPG


I leveled the three up with the steel that would be eventually providing my working platform and then decided to fix an off cut of plywood in a similar fashion to the other face side of each beam.

Now I needed to prop them and I thought the best and easiest way would be to go and get a length of bamboo and cut it into 3 piece….it made carrying it on the bike much easier than a 6m length.

Having returned with 3no 2m lengths, they fitted nicely in between the new supports and they were nailed and supported on blocks.

DSC_0314.JPG


DSC_0315.JPG


DSC_0317.JPG


Ok its not been constructed to the latest scaffolding regulations but if it carries my weight plus all the steel and floorboard planks thereafter then its job very well done. :)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:47 pm

Chapter 14 day 6

I am in a state of lethargy at the moment without any real direction; is it my biorythms or my time of the month.? More likely it’s the chemicals I have been using.

I cant progress the old house until I get some timber and I am not even going to look at some until tomorrow.

After spraying it internally and then following up with chaindrite wood treatment the house still has a very strong smell and doesn’t seem to be dissipating.

I spent a small fortune on bedding plant and its seems only two week later the rain every day has taken its toll and battered most of them; certainly one complete row of red roses and yellow feathered things is now a row of twigs and black wilting stems.
1 (2).jpg


1 (3).jpg


Wasu is still on the 2nd job business to earn more money. In the last 2 weeks she has become a dried banana and fresh coconut pulp distributor.

She is buying from the wholesaler and is delivering them to customers every other day.
The advantage of the facebook selling groups is the key here. Of course its not all pure profit, that would be silly wouldn’t it….of course what she has earned so far has just paid for some weighing scales and a bag heat sealer!!...overheads lets say!

I had an errand to run which was fine because I really want in any mood to do any work today.

On my return there was some activity at the local temple that sits on the river. I decided to stop to be nosey.

A large group of people, together with monks had several large sacks and several large tubs each full of giant frogs. Hundreds of them seriously; they were just emptying the bags and tubs and piles and piles of frogs were just climbing over each other and then trying to swim down the river.

1 (1).jpg


Another strange ritual by our standards but I suppose it was a positive one if they were all being released rather than slaughtered.

A mate conveyed a tale the other evening which had the rest of the quiz team in stitches. He started….
“do you remember last week when I said I went to this really cool bar called Freddies lounge………”

It was in the middle of nowhere apparently but had a very busy 90% Dutch and Belgian clientele.

Well he returned there a few days later to see if it wasn’t just a one off. Same again but this time he was a familiar face so started to mingle and meet a few of the farangs and their wifeys and girlfriends. :)

During the course of the evening he was invited to a party planned at one of the farangs houses but the unusual thing was it was going to be a pirate party.

So; over the course of the next few days he went shopping around Tesco, the Big C and the markets here to get his Blackbeard costume sorted out. :lol:

He got the hat, the beard an eyepatch and a big plastic cutlass, even a plastic canary to sit on his shoulder. Together with some of his own clothes his “look” was almost convincing and off he went to the party. :lol:

Off course he arrived at the party and no one else was dressed up but was sure some more would arrive. :roll:

In total he spent about 2 hours there and during this time of talking to many people. He said not one person asked why he had arrived in fancy dress and was the only one; maybe they thought that’s the way some farang like to dress.

But my friend isn’t one to get embarrassed easily so he decided to ask the husband of the lady who invited him why no one else was dressed as a pirate.

It transpired that she simply invited him to a private party…..but how did she pronounce it?........ :wink:

I told Wasu; she says rubbish; your friend is deaf :shock:

What a waste of a day……I detest wasted days its like being in the waiting room for heaven. Gotta do gotta do something, anything.
Did someone say I was still coherent? looking back on this post does show how I was thinking the effects of chemicals, its a nonsense isnt it?

my apologies :oops:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
eyecatcher
 
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: Chiang Mai

Next

Return to Life in Thailand

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests